Tuesday 12 June 2007

Take Action Against Junk Mail

Newham is awash with junk mail. Our letter boxes are stuffed full of it every day and leaving aside the content of the rubbish that people distribute, the impact on the environment is immense.

On average, each UK household receives 18 items of junk mail every week, leading to 21 billion junk mail items distributed to UK households on average every year. The annual total of unsolicited mail and hand-delivered flyers in the UK weighs about 550,000 tonnes. The vast majority of this is unsolicited unaddressed junk mail. The production of junk mail also uses a significant amount of energy and causes air pollution. Each tonne produced uses enough energy to heat an average home for 6 months and causes 26 kilograms of air pollutants.

According to Environment Agency, reducing 1 tonne of junk mail saves 17 trees, 2.3 cubic metres if landfill, 31,400 litres of water, 4,200 kilowatt hours of energy, 1,600 litres of oil and avoids 26 kilograms of air pollutants.

Fortunately, you can do something about it.

Firstly, put up a sign saying 'no junk mail'. You can make your own, or buy one - we like the fancy (and cheap) ones available from www.nojunkmailsigns.com

Next up, return the junk mail you receive to the people that distributed it.

Download this flyer (PDF), cut it into 'compliment slips' and post the junk mail back to the companies that produced it - no need for a stamp, making them pay may help them to focus on the bigger picture.

If enough of us start to do this, maybe the junk mailers will get the message.

As for the unsolicited mail that is actually addressed to you, you can cut down on this by registering with the Mail Preference Service.

Some junk mail is actually delivered by your postie - you can cut back on this by registering with the Royal Mail Opt-Out Service

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