10 easy steps to reduce unwanted mail
The average household receives 650 pieces of junk mail a year (that's 30 billion in total)! Most of this is unwanted and thrown away unread. Not only is it a nuisance, it is also a waste of valuable resources. Junk mail now accounts for over one million tonnes of waste in England each year.
Follow these 10 easy steps to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive.
1. Sign up to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
This free service enables you to remove your details from up to 95% of mailing lists and can stop up to one third of unwanted mail. Join the 35,000 Lambeth households already registered with the MPS service.
Signing up is easy, visit the MPS website for more information.
2. Remove your details from Royal Mail's commercial Door to Door service
This prevents the delivery of the unaddressed mail and leaflets that you may receive with your general post.
To remove your details from the Door to Door list, send your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 796 988.
3. Place a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on your letterbox
This will help to reduce the amount of leaflets and flyers you receive from local businesses.
To get a No Junk Mail sticker:
If you find that you are still receiving leaflets from local businesses once using your sticker, please let us know so that we can contact the company concerned. You can email email@example.com or send the leaflet to:
Lambeth Recycling, London Borough of Lambeth, 1st Floor Service Team House, 185-205 Shakespeare Road, London, SE24 0PZ.
4. Opt out of the Edited Electoral Register
You can easily prevent your details from being passed on by choosing not to be included on the edited version of the register. You can do so by ticking the 'opt-out' box on the electoral form which is sent out in August each year.
More information about the Electoral Register can be found on our Electoral Register page.
5. Stop delivery of the main telephone directories, if you don't use the paper versions
6. Contact any companies or charities who regularly send you unwanted mail
If you receive unwanted catalogues, letters or brochures ask them to remove your name from their mailing lists.
7. Remember to read the small print
When you give your name and address to an organistaion, for instance when you buy a product or service, look in the small print and tick the box to say you don't want:
- any further information about 'other products and services'
- your personal details to be shared with other 'carefully selected companies'.
8. Go paperless
If you have internet access at home you can normally request to receive your bank statements, utility bills and newsletters online. You can also request that they only send you information you need, for example, your bank statement and cut down on the amount of advertising you receive. Use our no marketing letter template to contact your service provider.
A one stop shop for junk mail reduction including the option to opt out from a number of services at the same time.
10. Return unwanted mail
If you regularly receive mail for someone who has moved away simply write 'not at this address' on the envelope and put it back into the post (no need for a stamp).
Any addressed junk mail with a return address can be returned to the sender. Simply cross out your address, write 'Unsolicited mail, please return to sender' on the envelope and put it back in the post, unstamped.
Remember that all your junk mail can be recycled in your orange bag or in your estate recycling bins.