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[GreenYes] Junk Mail in the US

Interesting strategy for France. The US could begin by stripping subsidies to these folks. Many of these mailings are extended discount postal rates, which may or may not reflect the costs to handle them. In addition, mail order catalogs have long been exempt from having to pay state sales tax (unless they also have a retail operation in a particular state). Fixing both of these problems would cut down on the amount of mailings.

In addition, every catalog mailer should be required to print on the front or back cover the % of recycled fiber content, and of that, what portion is post-consumer. This same notification should disclose if they have added plastic coatings or other additives to the catalog that make it difficult to recycle.

It's amazing that even stores targeting environmentally-conscious people have frequent mailings, poor control over mailing lists (generating duplicate copies of the same catalog), and print them on very thick glossy paper.

-Doug Koplow

Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel: 617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

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>>> "Bill Sheehan" <bill@no.address> 03/08/06 08:34AM >>>

France applies polluter pays logic to junk mail

Environment Daily 2053, 07/03/06

Distributors of unsolicited mail in France will have to help pay for
recycling of the resultant waste under a decree agreed by the council of
ministers last week. The sector has been put on notice that if it fails to
cooperate the government will introduce a junk mail tax.

Under the decree, distributors can pay into a fund that will then support
recycling by local authorities or they can pay for advertising to encourage
consumers to recycle waste. The government says it will decide on payment
levels later this year after consulting with interested parties.

French households receive an average of 40kg of unsolicited printed
materials every year, according to the French environment ministry.

Local authorities put the cost of recycling printed materials at about
?150/tonne, currently all borne by local taxpayers. At this rate, recycling
half of all junk mail in France would cost ?75m.

*The decree is designed to help meet an official target of reducing the
amount of household waste going to landfills or incinerators to 200kg per
person per year within ten years (ED 22/09/05


*Follow-up: *French environment ministry
<>, tel: +33 1 42 19 20 21, plus
press release <> and
decree <>.

/Bill Sheehan

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