Junk mail waste disposal and recycling

Who invented junk mail?

There are no clear origins of the concept of junk mail, as it is almost as old as the postal service itself. Companies are often offered lower prices for their mail costs due to the bulk nature of their stamps and envelopes, which means that businesses have been using the mail service for years in order to reach their customers. Although the presence of junk mail is lessening due to a combination of environmental factors and the existence of email there are still plenty of businesses implementing this method to reach older customers that may not be contactable through digital means.

junk mail disposal

What are they made from and how are they made?

Junk mail is typically printed on paper. This is rarely standard paper as companies always look to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd, instead choosing to make use of glossy paper and high-quality ink in order to set their companies apart from the rest of the crowd.

Junk mail typically goes through a series of copywriters and graphic designers in order to refine the content to the needs of the audience. From this point, the mail is printed onto glossy paper and shipped out to the relevant recipients.

Junk mail disposal

As with the disposal of any mail products, disposing of junk mail should be done through recycling procedures. For the most part, local councils should offer recycling services on a set day according to a regular schedule.

In the event that your junk mail contains personal information such as your name, address or contact details, you may want to shred the mail before binning it. This is in order to avoid cases of fraud or people sending unwanted mail to your home.

Problems with junk mail waste

Depending on the paper that the junk mail is printed on, you may not be able to recycle your junk mail. For example, any type of junk mail that use plastic or adhesive substances in their construction are unrecyclable as the plastic cannot be recycled in the same depot as paper products. It is important to take care of this issue, as failing to do so may make the entire batch unrecyclable due to material cross-contamination.

Alternatives to junk mail

There is no alternative to junk mail from a consumer point of view. Where the alternative for the creators of junk mail is simple through the use of email, once a customer has received junk mail there is no way to find a feasible alternative. In theory, if the junk mail you receive is addressed to you, it may be possible to request that the company delete your information through GDPR legislation, which would prevent addressed mail. However, there is no way to stop unaddressed junk mail, and it should be simply disposed of through the appropriate methods.

Facts about junk mail

– Every year the average UK household receives 650 pieces of junk mail.
– 550,000 tonnes of paper is used in the UK every single year in the production of junk mail.
– Since 1997 the amount of junk mail has increased by 65% in the UK alone.
– Over 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the US every year, with 60% going to landfill.
– Similar to the proportion of mail that is junk, spam takes up 85% of all emails online.

Where can you take these items to recycle/dispose of them for free?

In the UK you can often recycle junk mail for free as long as you pay your council tax bill. Recycling is a service offered by the local council, so as long as you are not in arrears to the local authority you can recycle any and all junk mail that comes your way.

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