Could we ever make junk mail illegal?

Week after week I find myself throwing out piles of useless mail. Direct marketing mail that is printed on glossy pamphlets and whatever else. This morning a guy dropped off a huge “yellow pages” book in my driveway. What the shit is this? I have 5 of them stacked in my closet already. I never use them because…I HAVE THE INTERNET. Like most of our country. We use the internet these days. It’s the future, motherfucker. If I want a yellowbook I’ll go to the yellowbook store and ask for one. Go make a yellowbook store and see how well that yellowbook store does.

Anyway, this got me thinking about junk mail some more and I thought to myself “Hmmm…I wonder if there’s ever been some kind of proposed legislation to make ‘junk mail’ illegal. It would obviously help save a lot of trees as well as energy.”

Then 2 seconds later I realized that these companies are paying the United States Postal Service to have their junk delivered from home to home and that will probably be a reason why this shit probably can’t be stopped.  Apparently, junk mail constitutes 52% of mail volume!!! Absolutely insane.

Here’s a story from Newsweek explaining the insanity:

I don’t know how effective this is, but someone gave me a link to this website where you can submit your name to a “Do Not Mail” list:

Thoughts on that?

Lastly, here’s a wonderful little ditty from the Circle Jerks who were complaining about this same shit in the early 80’s.

As it is plain to see, complaining gets us places.


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Chris says

in my 20 unit apt complex, the trash can by the email boxes fills up atleast twice a week with junkmail, its ridiculous! Resident letters from the cable company I already subscribe to, trying to get me to sign up... fliers for home repair and improvement sent to people living in apts... and don't even get me started on the amount of Spanish junk mail I get!

Junk mailers do pay the post office but from what I read its a sweetheart deal that ends up LOSING the post office quite a bit of money each year - your tax dollars at work folks!

Also to the list of annoying unwanted communications, I think there should be a National "Do Not Distub" List to keep away the Mormon's and Jehovah Witnesses that take turns waking me up most weekends!

Chris says

I think this SNL sketch pretty much sums it up

Joe says

I've been pretty successful in getting rid of most junk mail from following the info on the Forest Ethics campaign against junk mail's website. The only thing I still get is the occasional letter from a nonprofit. Here's the info on Forest Ethics and there campaign.

and they have a tool/form to help get less junk mail:

Nick says

It's nice to see that I am not the only one whom is intensely bothered by the junk mail phenomenon. It seems these days that we are already a generation whom is so used to being bombarded with advertisements and useless materials that many people tend to throw it out without really ever thinking about it. Nice Circle Jerks reference too. Can't wait to see you in PHX!

Jo says

Who vs Whom. That's the true question ce soir.

Whenever possible, I mail the postage paid envelopes/fliers back to the companies that sent them to me, with nothing in them, of course. I reckon if the postage is already paid for, then they should get their money's worth at least.

I hope all those papers you don't need get recycled. I'm often perplexed by the total lack of recycling in the u.s., bu wherever possible, you really should do it! Even those gargantuan yellow books!!!

Caos2 says

Elvis Costello has a song about chain letters/junk mail in his The Juliet Letters album. Lyrics at:

Cure For Piles says

Like the do not cal list, the do not mail list might be helpful. Thought there are no absolutes when you are registered. Junk mail is a problem of lifestyle too. The connections you make in your everyday business can be cause for these people to fling their junk mail to you including the yellow pages guy.

SWC says

I just googled "junk mail is illegal" and this site came up first. I think it is illegal. I pay a specific amount of money per unit of waste weight. Junk mail adds up. We should have them pay for this waste. In addition, the time I spend, the plastic bags, etc. My town only recycles cardboard and boxboard. So the rest of that junk mail is my responsibility. It is insane and I am pissed.