I noticed recently that, as part of the resolution of the recent UK postal dispute, the unions agreed to the removal of the limits on the number of “unaddressed” post items they’ll deliver. It used to be capped at three items per week. Get ready for a deluge of crap. See the BBC news story.
In 2006 a postman was suspended for explaining to his customers how they could opt out of receiving junk mail.
Whilst I find it easy to put all of this unaddressed post straight into the recycling bin (plus anything that is an obvious sales flyer or to “the occupier”) is always irritates me that someone is wasting paper and the resources in this way. I decided to do something about it.
First off I registered my address with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). This cuts down on the junk mail that is specifically addressed to me. Next I went to the Royal Mail website to request my opt out of the unaddressed post. They make this as difficult as possible, requiring that you request the forms which they post to you, you fill in and return and “within six weeks” will get processed. They do this under the guise of “security verification” but it is obviously to try and minimise the number of people who do this and to allow them to continue to profit from profligate waste.
If you’ve got a few minutes spare I’d urge you to do the same. If you don’t believe in the whole “eco-lobby” thing, then why not just do it to deny a smug marketing arsehole the opportunity to insert themselves into your daily life? Surely that has merit just by itself?
[Update, you can download the Royal Mail opt out in PDF format.]