Don Foster MP*
NEWS AND MEDIA PAGES


FOSTER GETS TOUGH ON JUNK MAIL



One year on from the Government's agreement with the Direct Mail industry to reduce the amount of junk mail through letterboxes, the Liberal Democrats can reveal that junk mail is already increasing. Liberal Democrat research reveals:

• Almost ¼ of Europe's recorded junk mail is sent in the UK
• Junk mail has almost tripled in the UK since 1990, and has
jumped by 65% since Labour came to power in 1997.
• In the last year alone (2002-03) junk mail has risen by
another 8%

Main Image
Commenting, Bath’s MP, Don Foster said:

“Junk Mail drives us all mad, but last year's voluntary agreement between the Government and the Direct Marketing Association is simply not enough, and the latest figures show that it is already failing.

"The constant bombarding of homes with offers and promotions resulted in 5.9 billion pieces of paper through letterboxes in the last year alone. People have a right to say no to unwanted mail, and for that right to be upheld by the law."

“If voluntary agreements aren’t working, we’ve got to consider tougher action. The Government should introduce a scheme, similar to that in France, where companies pledge not to deliver junk mail to households displaying a sticker on their door - and they should face fines if they do so.

"The Government should also actively promote the Mailing Preference Service, which blocks junk mail leading to an automatic reduction in waste.

“Once again, Britain is being left behind by its European partners in reducing the amount of unwanted mail we receive. The Government accepts that the 'four R's' approach to waste reduction (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) is the most effective, but they have completely failed to explore the first two steps.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors

1. Anniversary of Junk Mail Agreement between the Direct Marketing Association and the Government - 5th August 2003

"Tough new targets for more collection and recycling of direct ("junk") mail were agreed today in an initiative that should also cut the amount of direct mail delivered to British homes."
(from DEFRA press release, 5/8/03 www.defra.gov.uk/news/2003/030805a.htm)



2. 3.8% increase in junk mail between 1st Quarter 2003 and 1st Quarter 2004 from Direct Mail Information Service

www.dmis.co.uk/pressreleases/pr11062004.htm

"The first quarter of 2004 has seen Direct Mail continue to grow with both volume and expenditure up on the previous year.

"Official figures released by the Direct Mail Information Service show that in the January - March period of this year Direct Mail volume reached 1475 million items. This is a 3.8% increase on the same quarter last year."


3. UK Direct Mail Volumes - 1990 - 2003 (million items)

Consumer Business Total
1990 1544 728 2272
1991 1435 687 2122
1992 1658 588 2246
1993 1772 664 2436
1994 2015 715 2730
1995 2198 707 2905
1996 2436 737 3173
1997 2700 887 3588
1998 3123 891 4014
1999 3283 1062 4345
2000 3516 1148 4664
2001 3706 1233 4939
2002 3940 1293 5233
2003 4240 1198 5938

Source: Royal Mail https://www.dmis.co..uk/keystats/keystats.html

• 8% rise in junk mail delivered to homes in the last year (2002 to 2003)
• 65% increase in junk mail delivered under Labour (since 1997)




4. European Direct Mail Data - Addressed Direct Mail Volume 1996 - 2001
(millions of items)

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001


Belgium 1095 1122 1117 1091 - -
Denmark 241 270 292 235 237 222
Finland 267 305 310 315 - -
France 3703 3769 3990 4252 4501 4591
Germany 6605 6834 6048 6398 6442 6508
Ireland 80 87 90 101 - -
Netherlands 1225 1272 1379 1449 1532 1494
Norway 327 332 337 377 374 400
Poland 80 160 253 295 291 307
Portugal 138 164 176 189 196 -
Spain 1186 728 789 790 796 -
Switzerland 761 1461 1502 1300 1535 1703
UK 3173 3588 4014 4345 4664 4939
Total 18881 20092 20297 21137 20568 20164

Source: PDMS Only eight countries provided data for 2001.
https://www.dmis.co..uk/keystats/keystats.html



5. French citizens enlisted in war on junk mail (Environment Daily 1690, 18/06/04)

The French government has asked householders to place a new sticker on their front doors rejecting delivery of non-addressed free publicity and similar mail. Environment minister Serge Lepeltier noted that each household receives 40 kg per year of such junk mail. If one million households displayed the sticker, 40,000 tonnes of paper could be saved each year, he said. Relevant trade unions and trade associations have pledged to respect the stickers. The anti-junk mail action is part of a national waste prevention policy launched earlier this year
(See: https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=2356 - NB: In French only)

[Translated Passage: If only 5% of the French population chooses to use the free sticker, it would reduce by 40,000 tonnes of paper - the equivalent weight of four Eiffel towers! Violations by companies who deliver to addresses with the sticker will mean they will be made to pay a fine or prevented from further deliveries]




6. The Mailing Preference Service is available at:
Registration is free and means that companies and charities will no longer be able to send direct mailings to the registered name and address.




This article published: 05/08/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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