HOUSTON (AP) — The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has replaced its colorful admission stickers with plastic tags in an effort to cut down on stickers being adhered to nearby street signs and buildings.

Museum officials last week replaced the stickers, which have been used as proof of entry since the early 1990s, The Houston Chronicle reports . Visitors now receive plastic tags that they're encouraged to place in recycling bins as they leave the museum.

While the stickers have been a problem for years, the problem recently escalated after they damaged the raw concrete structure of the new Glassell School of Art building, according to museum spokeswoman Mary Haus. The museum's conservation department also had to clean sculptures in an adjacent sculpture garden, she said.

The museum issued 7,990 tags during the first week and had about 2,100 returned in the recycling bins at the exits, Haus said. Officials expect that 27 percent return rate to increase once people become more familiar with the practice, she said.

Museum officials plan to reuse the tags, which are color-coded based on the day of admission. Museum members receive silver tags, while visitors receive black tags on Thursdays when the museum is free.

Artist Laura Spector said she visited the museum this week but forgot to deposit her silver tags, raising concerns of people keeping the tags to avoid paying for tickets in the future.

"What's to stop anyone from handing off a plastic tag to someone waiting in line to get in?" she said.

Haus said repeat admissions haven't been a major issue at the museum.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com