How to stop junk mail in the UK

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junk_mailFor day 41 of our carbon fast we’re stopping junk mail. This is one of my favourite things to do!

The suggestion reads “End junk mail that wastes resources. Stop unwanted catalogs (, credit card offers (1-888-5-OPTOUT), and other junk mail ( You can even hire someone to do this for you (and buy a carbon offset in the process) at”

About 21 billion items (550,000 tonnes) of junk mail are sent out every year in the UK which is an awful lot of trees, paper, transportation and goodness knows what else.

The process for stopping junk mail in the UK is 4-fold because there are various types of junk mail sent out.

Here’s what you can do.

Contact a company

If a particular company is sending mail that you do not want, simply contact that company direct and ask them to stop. They are obliged to do so by law.

Mail Preference Service

Around 3.4 billion items of addressed direct mail is sent out every year which uses 180,000 tonnes of paper.
The Mail Preference Service (MPS) will stop 95% of addressed direct mail once you register with them.
Go to the MPS and register for free.

Opt out

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’.

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.

Remember, that removing your name from these databases only lasts for 2 years – you need to reapply every 2 years to stop that junk mail.

What about you – how much junk mail do you get each week?


  1. Preseli Mags on April 27, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I don’t get much junk mail now since I started to put everything they sent me back into the pre-paid envelopes and post it back to them. I figured that way they got their junk back and paid to have it returned.

    I also wrote ‘remove me from your database as per the Date Protection Act’ and ‘no more junk mail!’ on anything I could. I can’t think of the last time I got something so it must have worked!

  2. […] Little Green Blog » How to stop junk mail in the UK […]

  3. Mrs Green on May 3, 2011 at 5:39 am

    @Preseli Mags: I send stuff back too, Mags, although some companies are still very persistent. Sounds like things work well for you.

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