Reducing the amount of junk mail being delivered to your home can reduce the amount of waste that you produce.
Why reduce junk mail?
Many households will receive a considerable amount of unwanted or junk mail during the course of the year.
- a lot of direct mail is poorly targeted and irrelevant and quite often is thrown straight in the bin
- receiving mail that you don't want can be irritating, inconvenient and in some cases distressing
- it's easy to stop junk mail and it can make a big difference to the amount of waste we produce.
Stop getting junk mail
There are some actions you can take to stop getting junk mail. There is no single organisation you can register with.
Contact Royal Mail
You can tell Royal Mail to stop delivering junk mail to your address. Download a form from the Royal Mail website, fill it in and send it to the address on the form. Royal Mail will send you a copy of the form if you cannot print it yourself. You can contact them by:
Letter: Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Out, Freepost, Royal Mail Customer Services
Phone: 0345 266 0858
You will stop getting unaddressed junk mail within 6 weeks.
Register with the ‘Your Choice’ scheme
Registering with the Direct Marketing Association, which the majority of door to door distribution companies and free papers have signed up to will help reduce the amount of junk mail you get. Contact The Direct Marketing Association and ask them to send you an opt out form.
DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
Phone: 020 7291 3300
Register with the Mailing Preference Service
Registering with the Mailing Preference Service will stop advertising material that is addressed to you personally. You can register online or contact them by phone on 020 7291 3310.
You should start to notice a difference soon after registering – but it can take up to four months for the service to be fully effective.
Contact your electoral registration office
You can search for your local electoral registration office here. You can choose for your details not to be added to the edited electoral register when you fill out an electoral form. Tick the box that says ‘opt out’ of the open register - this is a list of people and addresses that can be bought and used for sending junk mail.
Contact the sender directly
If you want to stop getting mail from a particular sender, contact them directly and include the following:
- your full name and address
- the date
- the sentence “please stop processing my personal data for direct marketing purposes in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998”
- a reasonable date that you want the organisation to stop sending you mail, such as a month from when you send the letter
Return to sender
If you get junk mail with a return address on the envelope, you should:
- write “unsolicited mail, return to sender” on the envelope
- post it – you do not have to pay
The Bereavement Register
To reduce the amount of direct mail posted to deceased relatives, register with the Bereavement Register:
The Bereavement Register, Freepost, Sevenoaks, TN13 1XR
Phone: 0800 082 1230 - 24 hour automated registration service
Visit the Bereavement Register website.
By signing up for these services, you may not receive important information from organisations such as your local council.
What else can you do to cut down on junk mail?
- when filling in your details on forms, remember to look for the tick box to stop advertising being sent to you
- if you give your contact details over the phone make sure you tell them not to send you marketing mail or give your details to anyone else
- put a sticker on your letterbox or door requesting that no unsolicited mail be delivered
- use online services and stop receiving paper bills and statements
- recycle any mail you still receive through your kerbside collection or at household waste recycling centres and bring bank facilities