Welsh Conservatives AMs will today urge people to have their say in a consultation designed to tackle nuisance junk mail.
Earlier this month at Woodland Trust land in the Vale of Glamorgan, Welsh Conservatives launched the discussion about how to address the hundreds of pieces of unwanted mail delivered to each household every year, a third of which is thrown away before it’s even been opened.
Nuisance junk mail is of particular concern to elderly and vulnerable people, who are often the target for scams. While the Royal Mail has opt-outs for unsolicited junk mail, awareness of the schemes is low.
One suggestion amongst a range in the consultation is a levy on junk mail paid by the sender per item of mail – money which could be reinvested in the forests and making our natural environment more sustainable.
The production of every tonne of junk mail requires 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.
In the UK alone, in 2012, an estimated 17.5billion items of junk mail were produced, made from 9million trees and 16.5billion litres of water, representing nearly 5% of the country’s annual consumption of paper and cardboard.
Russell George AM, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, said, “The average household in Wales receives over 400 items of unwanted junk mail every year, much of which gets thrown away unopened.
“For many older and vulnerable people, junk mail is an intrusive and upsetting nuisance.
“While there are some junk mail opt-out schemes, awareness is very low, with many people unable to stop the daily deluge of paper through their letterbox.
“Welsh Conservatives have launched a public debate about how we can cut down the amount of unwanted junk mail which wastes millions of trees and billions of gallons of water.
“Our natural resources are precious, but every year, trees are being felled to make adverts and flyers that are not wanted and end up being recycled or going to landfill.
“We want to hear a range of views on how our natural resources can be better protected so our nation can develop in a sustainable way.
“I urge the public to take part in our consultation and have their say on how we can tackle nuisance junk mail: http://www.yourvoiceintheassembly.co.uk/junkmail”