Unsolicited mail generates a significant amount of waste, says Friends of the Earth Scotland, and it ought to be a simple matter for environmentally-aware consumers to choose not to receive it.

Until recently, Royal Mail had a link on the home page of its website allowing people to opt out of receiving unaddressed mail which it delivers for paying customers under its Door to Door scheme.

Now a redesign means the link is buried deeper in the site and, according to FoE, much harder to find.

Rosiaina Browning, waste prevention officer for Fof E Scotland, said: “People are starting to become really concerned about waste, even if it is recyclable.

“These moves by the Royal Mail to make it much harder to opt-out of their unaddressed junk mail scheme is going in the opposite direction to this concern.

“To opt-out on their website you now have to search for the option, or by phone you need to access the business services section, which is hardly intuitive. We hope they can reinstate a simpler system for those that do not want to receive unwanted mail.”

To opt out of the Royal Mail scheme follow this link which will take you to a page outlining what to do. The company will then send you a letter asking you to confirm your desire to opt out, before removing you from its list for two years.

The Royal Mail Door to Door scheme accounts for a relatively small share of the total unsolicited mail posted through people’s letterboxes.

A more effective way to reduce the quantity of junk mail, you can register with the Mailing Preference Service which claims to cut junk mail by up to 95% by having you removed from the mailing lists used by direct marketeers.

Sam Bond

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