No junk mail letterbox

How to reduce your junk mail & waste less

We all receive unwanted junk mail through the letterbox, both at home and at work, and most of it ends up straight in the recycling bin due to its irrelevancy and the fact it wasn’t requested. It’s great it can be recycled, but it would be even better to stop it from arriving in the first place.

Follow our tips below to decrease the amount of junk mail you receive in the UK.

Give delivery people a sign

You can try putting a ‘No junk mail please’ sign next to or on your letterbox — these are available to buy online or you can make your own. However, this is relying on the delivery people reading the sign and reacting to it, whereas they may not see it or might just choose to ignore it.

Don’t opt in online

When buying a new product or service online, make sure you don’t tick the box related to physical marketing. This has become easier since the implementation of GDPR, as it’s now a case of ticking the box if you want to be added to a mailing list, instead of having to remember to opt-out.

Contact the sender

If the junk mail is addressed to you personally or “The Occupier”, you can get in touch with the sender and request that they stop sending mail out to you. If you send a letter requesting that they stop sending you all marketing materials, they are legally obliged to do so within a certain time frame.

Junk mail
Junk mail is often unwanted

Opt out of unaddressed junk mail

If you receive junk mail which is unaddressed, you have the option to opt out through two services (and I’d recommend you do both):

Opt out of the edited Electoral Register

The full Electoral Register is only used for the purposes of elections, detecting and preventing crime, and credit checks. However, the edited version of the Register is available for companies, individuals and organisations to purchase for any reason; marketing is the most common reason.

You can choose to exclude your details from the edited version of the Register when you or a cohabitant/housemate are completing the Electoral registration form — just keep an eye out for the tick box.

Register with the Mailing Preference Service

If the junk mail you are receiving is for a previous occupant who no longer lives in your house, you can sign them up to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS). Doing so will cut the amount of junk mail you receive for that person by around 95 per cent, however it can take up to four months for this change to take place.

If you’d like to learn about other ways to reduce your waste, here are some great tips for cutting food waste at home and cutting down on plastic when travelling. Explore our blog for further ideas.

Published by

Lucy Ravenhall

Lucy is a long-standing editor of the Forge Recycling blog and loves writing about her environmental passions.