Return to Sender Labels
Reducing Junk Mail is an important contribution to waste reduction at source. Junk mail arrives with annoying regularity, to be glanced at then put into the Council's recycling box. From the environment's point of view, it would be far better if the junk mail item had not been manufactured and transported to your door. To reduce it, the first step is to register yourself with the Mailing preference Service at:
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
If you complain to MPS that you received junk mail despite being registered with them for more than 4 months they say they will seek an explanation from the company involved and ask them to desist. If this fails they will pass the complaints over to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), who can issue sanctions against the company, and the ASA will make contact with you. The MPS site contains a link to the ASA, but if you want to complain direct go to:
Advertising Standards Authority complaints (MPS)
The ASA online form may appear over-elaborate, since it is used for any complaint about any form of advertising. Just put "N/A" (not applicable) in most of the text boxes. The complaint will probably be more effective if you have first tried using our sticky labels (see below) so that in the description of complaint box you can put something like "This Company continues to send me unsolicited mail after their postings have been sent back to them with "Return to Sender" stickers asking them to remove my name from their circulation list."
Registration with MPS and subsequent complaints take a long time to take effect and may not eliminate some blanket mailshots, and mailings from organisations that you once subscribed to, or ones that your address has been passed on to. Also our experience is that the ASA is reluctant to take action, and seeks to pass the buck back to the MPS. As a more direct approach, the Forum have designed a template of "Return to Sender" sticky labels. These should be stuck on the item (usually in a transparent plastic wrap) as shown, hiding your address but not any mailing reference number, and with the arrow pointing at the "if undelivered" address if possible. The item can then be posted, free of charge.
Alternatively, when all else has failed, i.e. you have been registered with MPS for 3 months, and have used the Return to Sender labels to no effect, try forwarding the persistent unwanted mail to the MPS with a request for them to act.
MPS have however advised that a direct approach to the originating company is more effective, particularly if the mail was addressed to "The Occupier" or if the return address supplied appears to be that of an intermediate mailing organisation. In this case it is worth Googling for the address of the originating company (so that the letter does not need to be opened), and using it to edit one or two of the address labels appropriately. To avoid wasting sticky labels, if care is taken to preserve an uncrumpled leading edge, the same sheet can be put through an inkjet printer more than once, each time printing a temporary version of the labels document that is mainly blank, but holds just the address needed in the position corresponding to the next unused label. Recent amendments I have done include:
Direct Marketing Manager Direct Marketing Manager
Virgin Media (Occ) Easylife,Euro House
PO Box 333, Matrix Court Cremers Road
SWANSEA SA7 9BB Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3US
Reduce Waste at Source, Reduce Waste at Source,
target your mailshots Please remove my address