Everyone appreciates gifts. However, not if they "clutter" the letter box undesirably. Since 2003, unaddressed direct mail advertising leaflets have landed in 14 - 20 million German households every Saturday. Many of the commercials are wrapped in plastic wrap. The resulting amount of waste is unbelievably high:
Let's say the plastic wrapper weighs about 3g and the weekly circulation is 14 million. Then 2,226 tons of plastic waste are generated every year. Not to be neglected is the paper that is used for the brochures. The resulting emissions and the water used for production and delivery are on top of that.
"You have mail!"
- 85 to 90 percent of junk mail ends up in the garbage unread
- Every household gets around 33 kg of advertising mail a year?
lawsuit against the post office
A few years ago, a lawyer from Lüneburg no longer wanted to receive "Einkaufaktuell" from Deutsche Post and ultimately decided to sue Deutsche Post. He informed her several times in writing that the service was to be refrained from. The Post, however, continued to drop the ad in his mailbox. He went to court and won. Since then, it has become legally binding that postal items that are posted against the express will of the recipient are considered unreasonable harassment. They represent an encroachment on the right to informational self-determination.
- Unaddressed mailbox advertising creates 1.32 million tons of waste every year. This corresponds to around 6.6 percent of Germany's paper consumption.
I don't want any more mail either
If you want to do without advertising and save resources, you should attach a "No advertising please" sticker to the mailbox in a clearly visible place. Alternatively, you can have your name entered on a list with the German Dialogue Marketing Association or, for example, submit an objection directly to the Kaufaktuell initiative with the help of the “Stop plastic mail” initiative. A simple sticker should also be sufficient. If you still receive annoying unaddressed advertising, you can document this and file a complaint. The " Last Advertisement " initiative supports you in this.
Amsterdam as a model
Since 2018 there has been an "opt-in" procedure in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. This reverses the option with the sticker on the mailboxes. Anyone who puts a sticker on it that says they would like to receive unaddressed advertising will receive the direct mail. Everyone else without a sticker will be spared. The city of Amsterdam expects to save 6,000 trees and 34 kilograms of waste per household. "Last Advertising" is also aiming for an opt-in procedure in Germany.
If you don't want to miss out on offers for the coming week and want to see them in advance, you can do it online or share the advertising brochures with your neighbours. If you don't want any advertising and want to save resources, you can also print a "Please no advertising" sticker yourself and don't have to buy it.
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