I don’t think I am alone in despairing about the amount of Junk Mail that comes through our letterbox. Every month we receive a countless stream of unwanted adverts that go straight into the recycling bin without so much as a glance. It seems an absurd waste of paper and trees and this week I am on a mission to cut out the junk mail that filters through the door.
Quick facts – (Sourced from Stopjunkmail.org.uk)
If you’re looking for some quick facts and figures, here are the headlines (all relating to 2009):
An estimated 12 billion pieces of junk mail are distributed to UK households and businesses annually.
This is equivalent to between 4,6 and 6,1m trees.
The average (adult) person gets 65 pieces of addressed junk mail per year.
The average household gets 326 pieces of unaddressed junk mail per year.
The average household gets 453 pieces of junk mail (including addressed and unaddressed advertisements).
Over 90% of all advertising mail is unsolicited (i.e. the postal equivalent of cold calling).
About 9% of people is registered with the Mailing Preference Service.
About 0.8% of households is registered with the Door-to-Door Opt-Out.
About 0.006% of households is registered with the Your Choice Preference Scheme. That’s not a typo; it’s a fact.
If you want to lessen the paper waste coming into your home, here are the steps to take. It is best to do ALL these actions as there is no 1 agency that deals with junk mail. You should see a dramatic difference within 6-12 weeks.
1. Letter Box Sticker
Put your own “NO JUNK MAIL” sticker on your letterbox.
This is the first line of defence against junk but will not stop a huge amount of mail getting through.
You can order stickers online from the Stop Junk Mail Campaign or make your own.
2. Contact Royal Mail
Tell Royal Mail to stop delivering junk mail to your address.
Download this form from the royal mail website (pdf) and return to Royal Mail.
Royal Mail will send you a copy of the form if you can’t print it yourself.
Royal Mail Door to Door opt out
Freepost ROYAL MAIL CUSTOMER SERVICES
Phone: 0345 266 0858
3. Contact Your Electoral Registration Office
Opt out of the ‘Open Register’ List
Did you know that the Government have an ‘open register’ list wish allows them to sell the names and addresses to companies wishing to send you junk mail? Search for your local electoral registration office on GOV.UK and ask to be taken off the list.
You can choose for your details not to be added to the edited electoral register when you fill out an electoral registration form. Tick the box that says “opt out” of the open register.
4. Register with the ‘Your Choice’ Scheme
Contact the Direct Marketing Association and ask them to send you an opt out form.
Direct Marketing Association
70 Margaret Street
Telephone: 020 7291 3300
5. Register with the Mailing Preference Service
Stop advertising material that’s addressed to you personally.
You can register online at the MPS website, or you can contact them by phone or email.
Mailing Preference Service
020 7291 3310
6. Contact the sender directly
If you are still receiving junk mail then get in touch with the company directly and request a stop to all future mail.
In your letter, remember to include;
- your full name and address
- the date of writing
- this statement, “Please stop processing my personal data for direct marketing purposes in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.”
- A month timescale in which you expect all future correspondence to end.
7. Return to sender
If the company details a return address on the envelope then simply give it back.
- Write “unsolicited mail, return to sender” on the envelope.
- Post it – This is a FREE service as it is unsolicited.
8. Avoid future junk mail
Be sure to check any forms that you fill in for tick boxes allowing the company or third parties to contact you. Read carefully as they vary in tick/untick to agree to contact.
If you are sharing contact details over the phone, remember to tell the company not to send you any marketing material and that you do not give them permission to share your details with others.