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Junk mail to be junked by new Defra website

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By John Glenday, Reporter

November 1, 2011 | 2 min read

British households are to be given the opportunity to opt out of being on the receiving end of mounds of junk mail each year – environment secretary Caroline Spelman has today said.

The new initiative takes the form of a website, designed in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association, which allows households to banish the doormat burying leaflets with a few simple clicks.

Available from April it will supercede the current system where households are required to register on three separate services; the Mailing Preference Service, the Your Choice Preference System and Royal Mail's Door-to-Door opt-out service.

Spelman said: "We've all returned home from holidays to be greeted by a mountain of unwanted, unsolicited mail waiting behind the front door, most of which is thrown straight out. These piles of paper irritate householders, waste businesses' money and are environmentally unsustainable.”

Chief of operations for the DMA, Mike Lordan, said: "We know that many types of advertising mail are welcomed by consumers, such as supermarket discount offers. Of course, untargeted and irrelevant advertising mail is not welcome. It's this we want to eliminate.

"Unwanted mail is an annoyance and an unnecessary cost to business. By cutting this out we will also be helping to improve the environmental performance of the industry."

According to consumer group Which? The average household is now on the receiving end of 453 pieces of unsolicited mail each year

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