It’s that time of year for me when all my insurances come at once – home, contents and car.
Even though I’ve been reducing junk mail here at zero waste towers I definitely notice an increase in visits from the postman at this time of year too. Companies are vying for my custom and to take care of my every need.
This month I saved up all the rubbish that had come through my letter box and was horrified to find myself with a huge pile of dead trees and toxic ink to deal with, yet again.
It seems that you have to really be on the ball to stop junk mail in its tracks.
We need to remember that in the UK, opting out is only a temporary situation; you have to keep renewing your disinterest in Readers Digest, Viking Direct and numerous charities…
An astonishing 21 billion items (550,000 tonnes) of junk mail are sent out every year in the UK – can you imagine what that looks like in trees, transportation and water usage?
It’s not easy to stop junk mail either. The process for stopping junk mail in the UK is 4-fold because of the different types of junk mail sent to householders such as addressed direct mail, un-addressed direct mail and marketing leaflets. In order to have any success with reducing mail coming into your home you need to tackle the issue from all 4 corners:
Contact the company
Companies are obliged by law to stop sending you junk mail if you ask them. So if a particular company is sending you mail you no longer want, contact that company direct and ask them to stop.
You can also Return any unwanted mail to sender; cross out your address (but ensure they can still see it so they know who to remove from their database) and write something like “Return to sender. Please remove me from your database as per the Date Protection Act” and stick the offending item(s) back in the post. The company will have to pay to have that mail returned so there is a financial incentive for them to stop.
Mail Preference Service
Around 3.4 billion items of addressed direct mail are sent out every year, requiring 180,000 tonnes of paper.
If you sign up for the Mail Preference Service (MPS) you should find your junk mail reduces dramatically. It can take a while for the cogs to start turning but I’ve found you can stop around 80% of addressed direct mail once you register with them.
For people not on the internet, they can call 020 7291 3310
Around 13 billion items of unaddressed direct mail are sent out yearly.
If you want to stop leaflets and unaddressed mail being delivered by Royal Mail send an email to [email protected] and request their ‘door-to-door opt-out form’.
For people who are not on the internet, they can write to:
Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs
Get a sticker
For junk mail that has nothing to do with Royal Mail, such as leaflet drops from local companies and takeaway menus, you’ll need to put a sticker on your letter box saying “No commercial leaflets” or similar.
There is also some great information on the Junk Busters site, where you can register for all these services in one go.
What about you – how much junk mail do you get each week?