Here is your chance to ensure that you never receive another piece of junk mail in your letter box again! The Consumer Protection Act is proposing a new law to allow consumers to say no to junk mail. The regulations state that if you put up a sign stating that you don’t want to receive junk mail on your post box, it will be illegal for anyone to do so. This will save trees, CO2 emissions and water.
The law is open for public comment and we urge you to support this law. Project 90 will also be sending in a submission, so please feel free to use our wording – see below. All you need to do is copy and paste our comments, and any of your own, with your full name and address in an email to: Mr Ntutuzelo Vananda at firstname.lastname@example.org.The deadline is 31 January, so please send your email today!
ENDORSEMENT OF NO JUNK MAIL LAW:
I endorse the proposed Junk Mail law as set out in section 4 of the Consumer Protection Regulations, 2010. Post boxes across the country receive thousands of unsolicited pamphlets, flyers, magazines and letters each year. This uses large amounts of paper, plastic and ink and huge amounts of energy for printing and transportation. I believe that this regulation will directly reduce the impact junk mail has on the environment by saving trees, CO2 emissions and water.
South Africa’s National Climate Change Response Strategy, due to be published later this year, will expect each Government Department to ensure that all their policies, strategies, legislation, regulations and plans are fully aligned with the strategy. This proposed junk mail law will ensure that these regulations will be fully aligned with the National Climate Change strategy.
Given that 44% of junk mail is discarded without being opened or read, and junk mail inks often have high concentrations of heavy metals making the paper difficult to recycle, the majority of junk mail ends up in South Africa’s landfills. Here are some alarming statistics, and although not South Africa specific, give an idea of the large amounts of waste junk mail is responsible for.
The average US consumer receives approximately 18.5 kg of advertising mail each year, with a carbon footprint of 47.6kgs of CO2. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that junk mail creates four million tons of waste paper each year in the USA and in the UK junk mail accounted for the use of 500,000 and 600,000 tonnes of paper in one year.
In one year in the USA alone, more than 100 million trees are destroyed to produce junk mail, creating and shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars and about 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk mail.
It is important that this law will also protect those consumers who have a PO Box. As the mail delivery person does not see the outside of the PO Box, it is essential that any communication from the consumer to the Post Office indicating that they do not wish to receive any junk mail is also covered under this regulation.