How To Cut Junk Mail

Are you fed up of receiving unwanted leaflets through the post? Do you want to reduce the amount of paper that's wasted on sending you these unwanted adverts? Then follow these three simple online steps below.

1. Opt Out of Mailing Lists

Register with the Mailing Preference Service to stop receiving unsolicited mail from any companies that are members of the Direct Marketing Association.

Use Junk Buster to opt out of several types of mail at once. You can choose which opt-out services you want to contact, including Royal Mail Door-to-Door, Yellow Pages, Thomson Local and BT Telephone Book.

2. No Junk Mail Sign

Fix a "No Junk Mail" sticker to your door. This will discourage informal leafleting to your door. You can order stickers from Stop Junk Mail, or make your own!

Note: as of April 2013, Harrow Council have discontinued the free No Junk Mail stickers that they launched in Harrow People, October 2007.

No Junk Mail sticker

3. Deal With Persistent Mailers

You can write to any company ordering them, under the Data Protection Act 1998, to "cease processing of your personal data for direct marketing purposes". If the offending mail persists, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Data Protection Act 1998 Chapter 29 (section 11)

11 Right to prevent processing for purposes of direct marketing

(1) An individual is entitled at any time by notice in writing to a data controller to require the data controller at the end of such period as is reasonable in the circumstances to cease, or not to begin, processing for the purposes of direct marketing personal data in respect of which he is the data subject.

(2) If the court is satisfied, on the application of any person who has given a notice under subsection (1), that the data controller has failed to comply with the notice, the court may order him to take such steps for complying with the notice as the court thinks fit.

(3) In this section “direct marketing” means the communication (by whatever means) of any advertising or marketing material which is directed to particular individuals.

Promised Government Service Still Not Live

The government promised a new centralised opt-out service, which was due to go live in April 2012 (see reports by Government and Direct Marketing Association). But the latest news as of July 2013 is that progress is stalled on this plan.

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