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Junk mail is not only annoying but it’s also a complete waste. It’s the bane of my life, I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it in my house. Whenever we get any unsolicited mail it always goes straight into the bin. Tell me I’m not alone in this?
Our paper recycling box is always full and the majority of it, we didn’t even want in the first place.
Last week I decided that enough is enough and I needed to do something about the amount of junk mail we receive. After a bit of research online I found that there are lots of ways that you can reduce the amount that comes through your door.
I thought I’d share my findings with you today. I’ve listed 6 ways although I’m sure there is probably more, these seem to be the main options though.
6 Ways to Reduce or Opt-out of Junk Mail Today!
Step One: Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Out
It’s really easy to opt out via the Royal Mail. You need to get their opt-out form and there are 3 ways to do this.
The first and probably easiest way is to visit the Royal Mail website and download a copy of the form.
The second is mail your name and address to email@example.com and they will send you an opt-out form. I received my form via email, I printed it off, filled in my details and sent it back to them.
The third is to request the form by mail. Send your name and address to Freepost ROYAL MAIL CUSTOMERS SERVICES.
However, you choose to get your form you still need to fill it out and send it to the FREEPOST address above.
Please note the opt-out service only relates to unaddressed mail. They are still legally obliged to deliver all addressed mail including mail that is addressed ‘To the Occupier’.
You also need to get permission from others in the household before you send the opt-out form. Once Royal Mail receives your signed form you will stop receiving unaddressed mail within 6 weeks.
Opting out From Other Unaddressed Mail Deliveries
The Royal Mail only deliver a very small minority of unaddressed mail so you will need to take further action if you want to stop receiving other junk mail.
To opt-out from deliveries from other unaddressed mail distributors, there are other measures you can take.
Step Two: The Mailing Preference Service
Another way to stop unsolicited mail is to register with The Mailing Preference Service. It’s free to do and doesn’t take long.
- Go to the site and click – Register Stop unsolicited mail
- Tick the box -I wish to register my address details to be removed from mailing lists
- Enter your postcode
- Select the address you wish to register or add address manually
- Add your details (Title, Forename & Surname) Here you have the option to add another individual
- Select why you wish to register from the options
- To activate your subscription enter your email
- To complete your registration they will send you an activation e-mail. Once received, open the e-mail and simply click on the attached link, this will activate your subscription.
This service only covers UK addresses and you cannot register PO Box Numbers or business addresses.
Step Three: Your Choice Preference Service for Unaddressed Mail
The last thing I did was contact the Your Choice Preference Service for unaddressed mail. You can contact them via email YourChoice@dma.org.uk.
They sent me a ‘Your Choice’ registration pack for free. I printed off my form, filled in my details and sent a scanned copy back to them via email. You need to provide your full address, including postcode and make sure that you sign and date the form.
To return the form to us you can either scan and email to YourChoice@dma.org.uk or post the form to the following address:
‘Your Choice’ Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
I then received an email confirming that I had been registered on the ‘Your Choice’ preference service.
Step Four: Return to Sender
If you receive unwanted mail that has a return address on the envelope you can write ‘unsolicited mail, please return to sender’ on it. Then post it back in the postbox (without a stamp). The person that sent you the mail will have to pay the return postage, which will hopefully ensure they take you off their list!
If you find that you are having to send back a lot of mail you could get some ‘*Return To Sender Stickers‘ which makes it much quicker and easier to send back the mail.
Step Five: Contact the Sender
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, any person or business must stop using your personal information for marketing if you ask them to. They cannot refuse to take your name off their list.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has a great free template that you can use to send to companies. If they fail to contact you back you can then formally request they stop using Section 11 of the Data Protection Act.
Step Six: Put Up a Sign
As a final measure, you can always put up a little sign either on or by your letterbox stating that you don’t want any junk mail through your door. You can either create your own or buy one online.
A website called Stop Junk Mail sells stickers for as little as 85p. They also have lots of great tips and tricks for further reducing the mail you receive.
Extra Steps You Can Take
Opting Out Of Charity Appeal Communications
If you find you are getting a lot of leaflets or bags from charity shops through your letterbox then you can go to the Fundraising Preference Service website.
It’s a service that helps people control the communications they receive from charities.
You’ll need to register your details with them and then you can choose to stop email, telephone calls, addressed post and/or text messages directed to you personally from a selected charity or charities.
If you know of any other ways to reduce junk mail I’d love to hear about it.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.