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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Junk Mail

"A postman who advised people how to stop junk mail being delivered to their home could lose his job after bosses suspended him for misconduct", reports the BBC.

The Royal Mail are going to wish they hadn't done that.

After the BBC told viewers that they could opt-out of junk mail by emailing optout@royalmail.com, public-minded citizens like myself rushed to put that email address on their webpages.

Watch out for postmen wearing their new fake Rolexes, sporting permanent erections, and waving their stockmarket portfolios in our faces.

Revenge is sweet...

You can register not to receive junk mail at the Mailing Preference Service.

Nearly four billion pieces of direct mail are posted through letter boxes in Britain every year. About a third of this is thrown straight into the bin. Last year over 78,000 tonnes of it ended up in landfill. Ben Bradshaw, responding to a Parliamentary question on 15th November, 2005, said "It is estimated that 550,000 tonnes of direct mail are produced each year. This represents approximately 4 per cent. of paper waste. In theory, all direct mail can be recycled. However, certain adhesives that are used in the production of some direct mail can contaminate the recycling process and consequently make recycling difficult and expensive in certain cases. To reduce the volume of direct mail, the Government signed a voluntary agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in July 2003, which set recycling targets to increase the recycling of direct mail to 70 per cent. by 2013. The agreement also encourages producers of direct mail to avoid using materials that contaminate the recycling process. In addition, the agreement aims to improve the targeting of direct mail, thereby reducing the volume of direct mail that is distributed in the first place by encouraging the use of suppression files, which are lists of people who have opted out of receiving direct mail."

Don't you just love the implicit assumption that it's all OK as long as we recycle the stuff? No it isn't, producing the junk mail only to recycle it is a huge waste of fossil fuels and other resources. It's far better not to produce it in the first place.

If people really want junk mail, require them to opt-in to receive it.

It's time we threw away our throwaway society.

Posted by Phil at 8:35 AM
Edited on: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 10:55 AM
Categories: Comment, Environment