Breaking through the vicious circle of the wasteful delivery of junk mail
SIR – An increase in the amount of unaddressed mail to be delivered by Royal Mail to households throughout the country (report, May 10) should be of concern to us all.
No doubt most will be consigned, unopened, to recycling bins. Royal Mail, it seems, is embarking on this increased delivery of junk mail purely from a profit motive, without regard for the waste of materials and energy in producing such vast quantities of unwanted paper.
If every recipient of junk mail from Royal Mail collected the items, marked them “Return to sender” and posted them into the nearest pillar box every Friday then the problem of junk mail would become that of the originator.
If such action was carried out nationally, how long would Royal Mail continue with its contribution to such a massive waste of natural resources?
SIR – I now get very few pieces of junk mail, having spent the past few months returning them all, unopened, to the given postcode. I write “No more, please” on the envelope – and it works.
Hailing Island, Hampshire
SIR – By returning our unaddressed, unwanted junk mail to the sender via post boxes, we do our bit to recycle waste but also support employment.
SIR – Those criticising Royal Mail for delivering junk mail are overlooking two things. First, we live economically comfortable lives because of the success of free enterprise, which entails advertising goods and services. Flyers form part of that advertising and presumably produce sales for their senders, even if the majority of us put them straight into the recycling.
Secondly, Royal Mail is a business seeking to make profits. Why should it not encourage that business by informing customers of its services, including delivery of unaddressed mail? This would keep the cost of posting letters down for the rest of us.
Seaford, East Sussex
SIR – Of course the Royal Mail encourages junk mail. After the ill-thought-out decision forcing the ending of its monopoly in 2006, it lost to cherry-pickers its profitable parcel post and mass mailings.
The financial stability of a reliable, cheap postal service was wrecked. Instead of parcel profits being ploughed back into letter post, they went to specialist companies. Letter post is still struggling. What should it do but try to survive against the odds?
Monopolies need a watchful eye, but they are not always wrong.
Goring-by-sea, West Sussex
SIR – If junk mail is curtailed we would miss our daily delivery of rubber bands and would have to buy them.