The Texas Department of Transportation is reinvigorating its perennial “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign this year to reduce littering among younger Texans.
A 2009 survey from the agency showed that over half of all “active litterers” in Texas were between the ages of 16 and 34, despite 95 percent levels of campaign awareness across all Texas drivers.
“Some people just don’t get the education and awareness to an issue. Sometimes they’re just not subject to that," TxDOT spokesperson Mark Cross says. "What we want to do is make them subject to that with this campaign and help keep those younger generations, you know, in line with this thought that we can prevent litter and reduce litter along Texas highways.”
Cross says the agency is using more social media during this year’s campaign in addition to billboards, radio and television advertisements – as well as a “retro rebranding” of brightly-colored red, white and blue barrels across Texas that Cross hopes will reduce roadside pollution around the state by attracting the attention of potential litterbugs.
There were 1.1 billion pieces of litter collected along Texas highways in 2009 in the agency’s last count.