How to stop junk mail in 5 steps
Ahhhh, this weeks change the world Wednesday challenge is a topic close to my heart.
We’re going to be learning how to stop junk mail.
Don’t you hate the stuff?
Small Footprints gives the simple request “Get your name off catalogue and junk-mail lists“.
About 21 billion items (550,000 tonnes) of junk mail are sent out every year in the UK and advertisers know that 99.7 per cent of recipients throw it away unread. They think it’s worth it for the 0.3 per cent who might. Wow!
If you’re wondering how to stop junk mail here in the UK, it’s a bit complex because there are three main types – addressed direct mail, unaddressed direct mail and direct mail.
It’s not a one step process, however it is straight forward. If you’re pushed for time, why not take one of these steps each week?
How to stop junk mail
Contact the company
If a specific company is sending you catalogues, junk mail, begging letters or direct avertising, contact that company directly and ask them to remove your details from their database. They are obliged to do so by law.
Mail Preference Service
Once you register with them, the Mail Preference Service (MPS) will stop 95% of addressed direct mail. Addressed direct mail is sent out from companies who have bought your details on a database or is the result of you signing up for a company and ticking the box that says ‘from time to time we might send you mail from carefully selected companies…’
To stop addressed direct mail, go to the MPS and register for free. Or call them on 0845 703 4599 to request an application form.
If you want to stop leaflets and unaddressed mail being delivered by Royal Mail write to:
Door to Door Opt Outs
or send an email to email@example.com and request their ‘door-to-door opt-out form’. If you prefer to telephone then call 08457 950950.
Once this type of junk mail stops, it’s important to remember that registration only takes you off the list for two years. You’ll need to re register to keep your name on the opt out register.
If you get any mail addressed to ‘the occupier’ or ‘the householder’ with your address on it, this is called ‘direct mail’ rather than ‘unaddressed mail’ and unfortunately the Post Office are legally obliged to deliver it.
For this type of junk mail, there is nothing you can do except return it to sender. If enough of us do this (especially if we use their prepaid envelopes to send it all back in) then the company might just get the message as they have to pay to have mail returned to them.
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. There are some great ones on the Stop Junk Mail Site.
Local companies do not have access to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) register so will just post to all households in the area.
How much junk mail do you get in a week?
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