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Texas Department of Transportation—
AUSTIN – With a growing number of discarded face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes found littering roadways and parking lots, Don’t Mess with Texas called on the help of some celebrity friends to remind fellow Texans that the only safe way to dispose of used Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in a trash can.
Oscar winner and Minister of Culture/M.O.C. Matthew McConaughey and country music legend George Strait are lending their voices to new video public service announcements (PSAs) that urge Texans to clean up their act, including proper disposal of used PPE.
Other Texas celebrities joining McConaughey and Strait in raising awareness about the issue are Mark Cuban, Eva Longoria, Marsai Martin, Ally Brooke and Brittany Broski, each using their social media channels to share a personal video.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing a significant uptick in the amount of PPE litter. Not only is it unsightly, it is also harmful to the environment and a danger to public health,” said Becky Ozuna, program administrator for the Don’t mess with Texas campaign. “When you’re done with your masks, gloves and wipes, do the right thing and dispose of them properly. This simple action helps keep Texas clean and safe.”
Approximately 362 million pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roads every year with items discarded from vehicles accounting for half of all litter. It is illegal to litter in Texas. Those who are caught littering can face a fine of $500. If the tossed litter weighs more than five pounds, the fine can increase up to $2,000.
Don’t Mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The program includes a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, annual “Trash-Off” community outreach events and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program.