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9 "Skip the Plastic" | A New Grass-Roots Movement Hits Aransas County | by Gayly Opem

Skip the Plastic, Rockport-Fulton is a grass-roots citizens group of concerned residents of Aransas County. It was founded after seeing a presentation by Phil Wildfang at the Aquarium of Rockport in early 2013 concerning the proliferation of plastic in our everyday lives, and its entry to the food chain through the watershed and marine environment.

Founding members are Blair Brown, Julie Cloudt, Gayly Opem, Jean Payne, Don Sheets and Phil Wildfang. Joining our group more recently are Ginger Easton-Smith, John Huckabee and Ellen Kennard. We welcome anyone to join who has the commitment and interest.

Our Mission Statement is:
To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

Our first goal is to educate our community to the dangers of plastic, the growth of usage and the impact on our environment, ourselves and the future. We make presentations to local groups and organizations to solicit their support. To date we have received supporting endorsements from the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor, the Aransas Bird and Nature Club and the Aransas County Navigation District. We have presentations scheduled for several more groups in the coming weeks.

In an effort to educate the public,
 Jean Payne helps Phil Wildfang
don the "Bag Monster" costume to
march in the Oysterfest parade
earlier this year. 

(Below) Phil in the completed
final costume and Mary Ann Davis
in the gray plastic bag version.

Events Sponsored by Skip the Plastic include:
You don’t have to join to support our initiative. You can take five simple actions as an individual to reduce your use of plastic by:
  1. Taking cloth bags to shop and carry items, particularly groceries.
  2. Instructing clerks to not give you a plastic bag.
  3. Carrying your own reusable “to go” mug to coffee shops and fast food restaurants.
  4. Carrying reusable water bottles filled by tap water and not buying water bottled in plastic.
  5. Encouraging your family, friends, employer and the community to do the same.
For more information on the plastic issue, contact us by email at gaylygopem@yahoo.com or visit our website at www.skiptheplastic.org | Facebook

Up & Coming: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension | "Marine and Coastal Plastic Pollution," Aug 8, 6:30-8pm

The WWN would like to thank Gayly for sharing this information with the community, as well as the group for the wonderful work you are doing to educate, promote and preserve our natural resources! THANK YOU!



Really needs to happen, everyone should support this.......!!!


Your efforts should be commended!! Education, I think, is the first step...But how do we cross the barrier from talking about it to getting things to really change here in Rockport?...For example--I wish more of our local festivals provided recycling containers, limited the amount of plastic bottles AND glasses used/sold. Perhaps this is the first step, though I feel like Rockport is behind....next real, tangible, COMMUNAL change!


KUDOS to these people! Last time I was near the banks in Rockport/Fulton area, I saw a tremendous amounts of ""PLASTIC"" everywhere..NOW it is coming together as a partnership to KEEP OUR BEACHES/WATERWAYS CLEAN! **BRAVO!!**


To show your support, please attend the Plastic in the Marine Environment Forum in two days, Thurs. Aug. 8, 6:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Building on Airline Road, and take along some friends. We at STP agree with you that more is needed in addition to education. Once we line up sufficient public support, we will approach governing bodies to take action. Already, the Navigation District, one of our supporting partners, is taking steps to attack this problem in areas they control. Meanwhile, please take the action steps suggested for an individual and talk to others about it. If you want to know about future public events, please send your email address to gaylygopem@yahoo.com
Thank you for your support, Gayly Opem


This information is such a good reminder!! And I loved the article the WWN ran a couple weeks ago about making your own DIY bag from a t-shirt...super fun, and eco-friendly idea. Kudos WWN. It's going to take all of us to make a difference. Thank you for all your hard work ladies and gents!!


Our community is so closely tied to the enviroment we must be the leaders in this movement. We need to ban plastic bags in our county and also each of us need to make more responsible choices. Great article! Lets get the word out!


I am going, this is so important to our community.


My Daughter,Juaniece has made nice looking to go bags with sturdy material & lined to carry heavy items in them.She started sewing bags several years ago to help our environment but it didn't really catch on but I still used mind. I also picked up other store bags made of material to use.


Sassy is joining in with this effort. We will be offering Reusable SASSY bags within the next few weeks. As soon as they arrive from the printer, we will have them in the store. We will sell the bags to you, but you will receive a discount on your purchases each and every time you bring them to the shop! This will help us save a LOT of plastic bags.

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