Stop Junk Mail has started a petition calling on the Prime Minister to introduce an easy and effective system for opting out of receiving junk mail.
Currently, the only way to stop all unwanted advertisements is by using a combination of six different measures. According to Stop Junk Mail, this makes it unnecessarily difficult for people to reduce the amount of junk mail posted through the letterbox.
The campaign group would like to see the introduction of a system whereby people would only need to do two things to stop all junk mail:
- registering with the Mailing Preference Service should stop all addressed junk mail; and
- putting up a 'no junk mail' sign should stop all leaflets and/or free local newspapers.
The petition has been named Go Dutch because a similar scheme exists in the Netherlands. Robert Rijkhoff, co-ordinator of the Stop Junk Mail campaign and himself a Dutchman, commented: "The scheme that was introduced in Holland in the 1990s has been a huge success. Not only has it made it convenient for people to reduce unwanted junk mail, it has also made it easier for businesses to target those people who are interested in advertisements. And of course it has spared many trees from being turned into junk mail."
According to the former postman, the present system for opting out of receiving junk mail could be improved by a number of relatively small measures. "It would help people if Royal Mail would start respecting 'No Junk Mail' signs. At the moment people have to register with the company's Door-to-Door Opt-Out to stop leaflets delivered by the postman. Rather than spending money on an obscure and bureaucratic opt-out scheme Royal Mail and the junk mail industry should set up a sticker system whereby people can get a free and readily available 'No Junk Mail' sign for their door.
"Another simple improvement would be to make it possible for businesses to register with the Mailing Preference Service. At the moment only individuals are allowed to opt out of receiving addressed junk mail. There's no reason to assume businesses do not want to reduce unsolicited advertisements."
The Go Dutch petition can be signed at petitions.pm.gov.uk/go-dutch.