Before I took all the steps below, I used to collect the contents of our letterbox, walk back into the house and throw it all in the recycle bin without ever opening it. The waste dumped in my letterbox used to annoy me so much, but now we rarely receive anything at all (birthday cards from Nanna and electoral commission information). Here’s how you can do it too.

Stop unaddressed mail

Place a ‘No Junk Mail’ or ‘Addressed Mail Only’ sign or sticker on your letterbox to stop receiving catalogues and other unaddressed mail. Australia Post delivery officers are instructed not to deliver unaddressed mail to letterboxes with this signage but be aware that Australia Post only delivers about 10 per cent of unaddressed mail to Australian households. There’s no guarantee that other unaddressed mail delivery companies will do the same. Also note that political, educational, religious and charitable material is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards developed by the Australian Catalogue Association.

Stop receiving the yellow & white pages

If you’ve ever wondered how to stop receiving the yellow pages, then Directory Select is where you need to go. It’s a super quick process but it’s based on your address, so if you move house you will have to do it again and if you move to a house where it was cancelled and want to receive it, you can fix that up here too.

Stop addressed promotional mail

Registering on the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising’s (ADMA) ‘Do Not Mail’ register will stop mail from the 500 business members from reaching you. Members include banks, insurance companies, publishers, catalogue and mail order companies and charities who contact consumers via: mail, telephone, direct response television, the internet and mobile phones. It won’t stop mail from non-member companies, so you will need to contact those businesses directly to tell them to take your name off their mailing list.

Get bills electronically

Visit your billing company’s websites and signup for electronic bills. Alternatively, you can register your bills with BPAY View to receive, pay and store your bills in your online banking, or use MyPost Digital Mailbox, an Australia Post service that allows you to redirect paper mail to your electronic portal.

If you really love catalogues

If you really love looking through catalogues, register with online catalogue portals such as Lasoo Online Catalogues or Catalogue Central to receive only the advertising material you want. Alternatively you can visit retailers own websites to receive store and brand catalogues online.

Report irresponsible distribution of junk mail

Report any junk mail which is littered, delivered in duplicate or delivered to a letterbox with a ‘No Advertising Material’ sticker on it. Report offenders to the Distribution Standards Board (DBS), the self-regulatory arm of the Australian Catalogue Association, which represents about 90 per cent of all unaddressed advertising catalogues, on 1800 676 136. However, a lot of the unwanted junk mail come from the 10 per cent of businesses who are non-members like local pizza joints, estate agents and other local businesses. Contact the business directly and politely inform them that your sticker has been ignored.

The DSB offers their own standard No Advertising Material sticker for free if you need one.

8 thoughts

  1. We receive LOADS of unsolicited mail at school. Many companies send several catalogues so they can be distributed to relevant staff at different levels or areas. I started returning all printed catalogues with a note explaining that e-communication from companies was the preferred method for ‘touting’ and that they could save huge amounts of printing costs. (lets’s not go into me asking abut no plastic wrapping!). Many have responded that they just hand info to a marketing company and they couldn’t take us off the mailing lists as they were not aware of who it was sent to. My response is something along the line, “that is a shame because we have developed a sustainable purchasing policy and we only deal with environmentally aware and responsible companies. This includes being aware of waste creation and how it will eventually be disposed”. I have noticed a change over the last 3 years but it is still obviously not something that is close to the heart of many businesses. Chip, chip chipping’ away!

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  2. A surprising source of unsolicited mail we were receiving for awhile was from charities that give money to cancer research. This occurred after my husband donated some money to one of the large Melbourne hospitals, they must pass on addresses to other like-minded groups. I have returned all envelopes saying that we do not accept unsolicited mail, even if it is for a good cause. So much money goes into this kind of fund-raising, they usually include greeting cards or personalized stickers.

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  3. i put a no junk mail on the letter box it was taken so I wrote in permanent ink no junk mail what is happening in the local paper there,s a lot of advertising catalogues I rang the local paper and asked why so many catalogues answer that’s how we get paid it,s disappointing I want everything done by email no paper have done so 4 a long time

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  4. I have to admit to doing a little junk mailing myself as an experiment. I had a wad of No Junk Mail stickers which I deposited in 15 letterboxes in my daughter’s street, reasoning that many people don’t want the junk mail, but just accept it. Three letterboxes out of the fifteen were displaying those stickers within the week. I’ve got quite a few more left…I think that was worth doing.

    Liked by 2 people

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