Junk mail warningScrapping junk mail limits could mean higher taxes

09 October 2006

 

Posting a letter

Moves to increase the amount of junk mail that can be delivered to your home will damage the environment and cost you more in taxes, it was claimed today.

Under current arrangements Royal Mail can deliver only three unaddressed items - just addressed to 'The Occupier' - to any home each week.

But it's currently negotiating with unions about lifting this limit and the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that such a deal will lead to an increase in unwanted deliveries - and household rubbish.

The Chairman of the LGA, Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, has written to the Royal Mail expressing 'grave concerns' for the council tax payer and the environment.

Higher taxes

He added: 'More junk mail for services people do not want or need will only lead to an increase in the amount of unnecessary rubbish created and could place further pressures on the council tax payer through no fault of either the council or local people.'

Royal Mail delivered 3.3 billion items of unaddressed mail last year, an increase of 12.5 per cent on the previous year.

The LGA has said a move to boost this would increase the 78,000 tonnes of junk mail put in landfill sites each year.

But a Royal Mail spokesman said the LGA was entirely wrong in thinking homes would be bombarded with unlimited amounts of junk mail.

Junk mail

The spokesman said that 75 per cent of unaddressed mail was delivered by rivals of Royal Mail, which would step in to deliver items that Royal Mail turned down.

There are a number of ways you can cut down on junk mail you receive, and all these services are free.

You can opt out of 'door-to-door' unsolicited mail that Royal Mail distributes by calling 0845 7950 950 or by emailing optout@royalmail.co.uk..

If you want to opt out of addressed mailshots, you can sign up to the Mail Preference Service. This can remove your name from up to 95 per cent of direct mail lists.

However, it won't stop mail that's been sent from overseas, or mail addressed to 'The Occupier'.

Mail Preference Service

You may also get targeted by companies you've bought items from in the past, and by small, local companies.

If you want these mailings to be stopped, you must notify the companies directly.

It will take up to four months for the service to have full effect although you should notice a reduction before then.