Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Defra aims to clean up junk mail industry

New move by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair (DEFRA) to diminish the impact that unwanted and junk mail has on households and on the environment.

According to Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, the current overload of junk mail arriving to people's letterbox is "environmentally unsustainable".

The Department will be launching an online service where citizens can register and opt out of receiving all types of unwanted advertising mail.

From The Guardian:

According to the DMA, the average household receives more than 300 items of unaddressed and 77 items of addressed mail a year. Spelman said: "We have all returned home from holidays to be greeted by a mountain of unwanted, unsolicited mail waiting behind the front door, most of which is thrown straight out. These piles of paper irritate householders, waste businesses' money and are environmentally unsustainable."

Spelman said the initiative would make sure that the direct mail that was sent out was produced to higher standards and was fully recyclable.

The government has signed a three-year deal with the DMA to launch initiatives to help the UK move towards a zero-waste economy. Defra said that by 2014 the amount of unwanted direct mail hitting door mats will fall significantly as a result of the marketing industry increasing its current use of "suppression lists" (which includes opt-out, do not contact and gone-away lists) by 25%.

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