How to stop junk mail & opt out of receiving any leaflets or unaddressed promotional material

Did you know that in the UK alone we spend 25 billion pounds through unsolicited mail every year? Receiving unwanted mail can be frustrating and most of the times unnecessary. By cutting this out we help to reduce waste and the unsustainable environmental pollution too.

Marketing leaflets, unsolicited letters and email are legitimate marketing practices for many companies. However, these can be misleading and even distressing sometimes. Unsolicited mail should be treated with caution and never reply to something that you believe or suspect to be a fraud.

It’s not easy to stop receiving junk mail, but there are a few things you can do if you wish to opt out.

  • Contact genuine organisations and ask for your details to be removed from their mailing lists.
  • When filling out a form, find out how your information is used and consider opting out.
  • In order to avoid your electoral register details being publicly available on the web and to marketing companies, tick the box on your registration form to opt out from the ‘edited’ register. You can request this by contacting your council’s electoralservices.
  • Place a “No Junk Mail” sign to the mailbox or at your door. This will deter people from posting you unsolicited mail as it will be illegal to do so. No one other than the official letter carrier can put anything into the mailbox without the permission of the owner.
  • Ask each junk mail sender individually to remove your details from their lists (credit card companies included). Contact them and explain that you wish for your details to be removed from their mailing lists.
  • Finally, don’t forget to cancel any unwanted catalogs by contacting the retailers / organisations directly or by logging in to your online accounts and opting out.

Below are a few services you can use to considerably help you reduce the junk mail you receive through the post.

Using Royal Mail’s MPS service

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up in 1983 and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Registering with the MPS is FREE.
To stop unwanted communications you can use the Mailing Preference Service . It provides details on all other preference services, or call the Mailing Preference Service on 0845 703 4599.

Opting out from Royal Mail Door to Door

You can opt out of receiving Door to Door mail items you will need to print a copy of the Opt out form. Complete, sign it and then post it to the address shown on the form.
Royal Mail will action your request within six weeks of receiving your completed form. Your opt out will last for a period of two years. During this time every effort will be made to prevent the delivery of Door to Door items by Royal Mail.

At the end of the two year period, in order to continue with your opt out, you will need to complete a new application form to confirm that you are still at the same address and wish to continue opting out of Door to Door deliveries.

Opting out of receiving charity appeal communications

The Fundraising Preference Service is a website-based service that can help people to control the communications they receive from charities registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

By registering your details with the Fundraising Preference Service you can choose to stop email, telephone calls, addressed post and/or text messages directed to you personally from a selected charity or charities.
This is a quite tine consuming process and you can only opt out from 3 charities at a time if you apply online. They do offer the option of opting out from 20 charities at a time though if you call the service directly. You will need to know the charity’s name or registration number.

For sure, the opting out process can take time and energy to be addressed. There is quite a satisfaction though, when you gradually notice less and less mail cluttering your front door or mail box!
I was so pleased to hear by my dear neighbour who was looking after my home while I was away that, “I hardly had any mail to go through”.

It is the feeling that you can take over of your life one step at a time..

Images courtesy of stopjunkmail . org . uk

Elena Daniilidou

Passionate about cruelty-free living, sustainability and ethical fashion. Aspired to contribute to minimising human impact on the environment. Vegan and minimalist.

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