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Letterboxes without stickers face 16 kilos of junk mail a year

17:51 27/04/2021

Letterboxes in Brussels without a no-advertising sticker are stuffed with 16 kilograms of junk mail per year. But figures from Environnement Brussels show that less junk mail is being recycled or binned, meaning more and more households are using the sticker.

In 2018, Brussels residents tossed 3,980 tons of advertising supplements, free newspapers and fliers into the yellow sack for recycling paper products. In 2019, that figure had fallen to 3,468 – a difference of 512 tons.

The amount of paper products being put in the white bag for regular rubbish did increase between those two years, according to the agency, but not enough to make up for the more than 500 ton difference. That suggests that fewer households are receiving junk mail.

Want a sticker?

Residents can obtain stickers from Bruxelles Environnement, choosing whether to refuse advertisements but not newspapers – or vice versa. Residents still get newspapers and other information from the municipality and campaign leaflets, which are not considered junk.

According to the agency, about one-third of all letterboxes in Brussels sport such a sticker. Bpost warns, however, that not all junk mail comes from them; companies and organisations often stuff their own advertising leaflets in letterboxes.

These companies must, however, respect the sticker. If they don’t, they can get slapped with a fine. Average fines are about €1,200.

Photo ©Getty Images


Written by Lisa Bradshaw