01/11/2011 02:56 GMT | Updated 31/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Junk Mail Website Designed To Stop Unwanted Deliveries To Be Launched

A new website is being launched to make it easier for householders to stop junk mail coming through their letter box, the Government has announced.

The website, which allows people to opt out of receiving all types of advertising mail, will replace the current system where households have to register on three different online sites or apply by post to stop direct mail.

Currently, the average household gets almost 400 items of junk mail a year.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said that under the deal drawn up with the Direct Marketing Association, the advertising mail that people do get will be made from recyclable paper from a sustainable source, or from recycled paper.

Mrs Spelman said: "We've all returned home from holidays to be greeted by a mountain of unwanted, unsolicited mail waiting behind the front door, most of which is thrown straight out.

"These piles of paper irritate householders, waste businesses' money and are environmentally unsustainable.

"That is why I struck this deal with the Direct Marketing Association to give people more control over what gets posted through their letterbox but also to make sure the direct mail we do find useful is produced to higher standards and is fully recyclable."

She added: "This also throws down the gauntlet to those companies hand-delivering brochures and fast-food menus to respect 'no junk mail' signs and only deliver what people want."

Direct Marketing Association operations chief Mike Lordan said that while some advertising mail such as supermarket discount offers was welcomed by consumers, the industry wanted to eliminate "untargeted and irrelevant" mail that was not.

He said the new agreement would help to simplify how householders managed what they got in the post.