This equates to more than 31.1 million free samples or money-off vouchers mailed by stores and brands in 2006 that were welcomed and used by consumers.
But as 550,000 tonnes of paper, equivalent to 3.3 million mature trees, are used for junk mail each year – this means that more than 1/10th of a tree was used for each ‘offer’ that is actually taken up.
Junk, or ‘direct’ mail, makes up 4% of all paper waste in the UK. Newspapers account for 20% of all paper used.
The difference is that those who are trying to reduce their paper use can choose not to buy newspapers, and the glossy nature of a lot of junk mail makes me think it’s not as reliant on recycled content as newspapers are (average 41.2% recycled paper) but I’d be happy to hear I’m wrong on this!