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News /

How to: ... cut down junk mail

19th Feb 16, 1:07 pm

Did you know that 17.5 billion pieces of junk mail are pushed through British letterboxes every year and 550,000 tonnes of paper is used to produce it? (1 tonne = 24 trees, = 13.2 million trees.)

That averages 650 pieces of junk mail for every British home each year – or 54 pieces of mail a month. Aside from the terrible waste, you are personally dealing with each one of those, and even if it is just to put it in the recycling bin, it is still taking up your time and attention every day.


Invest an hour in the following steps, and reap the rewards in diminished, if not banished junk mail. BUT – not forever – this is something to categorise as ‘ongoing bi-annual maintenance’.


Door to door unaddressed junk mail


  1. Royal Mail delivers a large proportion of this ranging from pizza delivery leaflets to cable TV letters.
  • To stop Royal Junk Mail: download, print, complete, scan and return an opt-out form, then email it to:
  • The junk mail should stop within six weeks, though your registration will only stay live for two years.


  1. The Direct Marketing Association have a similar opt out scheme for unaddressed junk mail.
  • Email: to ask for an opt-out form.
  • As above print, complete, scan and email back.
  • It may take up to 3 months to take effect and as before registration will only stay current for two years.


  1. ‘No junk mail’ letterbox stickers: perhaps low ranking in effectiveness as junk mailers can easily choose to ignore them, however having one might just stop a few leaflets.
  • Amazon has a large inexpensive range giving you choices on wording and look. (We like the one made to go onto glass.) Click HERE.


Junk mail addressed to you


  1. The Mail Preference Service: register online with the Mail Preference service:
  • It costs nothing and over time will gradually reduce the number of mailing lists you are on.
  • Best of all it is designed to prevent your details being sold on to list brokers.


  1. The Electoral Roll: one of the most common sources of re-sold junk mail lists, the Electoral Roll offers an opt-out box on voter registration forms. Simply tick each year to re-register.
  • If you don’t want to wait until the registration form arrives, click HERE, and enter your postcode to find the email address of your local Electoral Office. Then email to ask to be taken off the ‘open’ electoral register (and stay on the edited version to stay a registered voter).


  1. you can remove your details from the 192 directory by downloading this form, printing, completing, scanning and emailing it back to:


  1. Search out opt-out: easy to miss in the haste to complete an online purchase, but almost every online registration ends with one or more opt-out tick boxes, set in a default position giving your permission to be mailed or emailed with marketing material. Make a point of looking out for them before ‘submitting’ the screen, and tick or untick as appropriate. Watch out for the way they are worded which could catch you out.


  1. Lever the law in your favour: under the Data Protection Act you are within your rights to ask the sender to remove your details from their database for the purposes of Direct Mail. This is very helpful when there is a particularly irksome sender. Simply write, quoting section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998, asking them to act within 28 days of the date of your letter.


  1. Return address: where a return address has been supplied on a junk mail letter, this gives you a simple route to send the junk right back to them. Pre-print some sheets of address labels saying “Return to sender – junk mail” or “Return to sender – not known at this address” if it junk mail addressed to a previous resident. The hardest part is making time to put it back in a letterbox, but this comes with some satisfaction if junk mail is a bug-bear for you.


  1. Phone them: probably the most time consuming method, but by nature the most effective as you have the personal assurance of the organisation you speak to that they will delete your details from their mailing database. When we do this for clients we keep a contact report so that we can see which companies are still sending mail after our call.


If this all sounds too time consuming and a lot of effort – simply Delegate to Consider it Done, we’d be happy to help rid you of your junk mail.


Another in our ‘How to make a difference’ series.

Junk Mail 2 shutterstock_82457302 - purchased

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