This isn’t a flyer-by-night issue!

For those of you living in Edinburgh Napier student accomodation such as Riego Street, you may well have experienced and continue to experience a tsunami of leaflets flooding through your letterbox on a daily basis advertising themed nights at nightclubs or menus from takeaway places that are pining for your pounds. In my block at Riego Street the “flyer folk” have resorted to dumping their leaflets across the floor, pasting the stairwells with “I love Vodka” and “Jellybaby Sunday” messages. Yes, these leaflets are informative. Yes, they make a good collage on your wall. Are they relatively harmless though? No.

These leaflets are essentially a similar form of unwanted / junk mail. 17.5 billion pieces of junk mail are produced every year in the UK with 550,000 tonnes of paper and 16.5 billion litres of water being used to produce it all (source). Now re-read the sentence you have just read as many listed facts in articles like this one are brushed over. 550,000 tonnes! 16.5 billion litres! Why on Earth are we wasting such precious resources on creating unwanted rubbish?

A junior source from City nightclub told me, “I hand out loads of flyers that the nightclub receive in large quantities of boxes but there are so many I couldn’t possibly say how many are actually produced. A team of us carry as many as possible and distribute directly to people on the street. We’re told not to litter student halls or the streets and if we do the Council has a right to enforce bans on any future flyering”.

What can we do? For junk mail you receive, simply write “RETURN TO SENDER – UNWANTED MAIL” and pop it back in the post – can you imagine if everyone did that? Companies would soon tire of sending us their messages. A google search for flyering laws shows a few discussions on the topic (including this brief one) but it seems the bombarding junk won’t cease any time soon – hence why it is not a fly-by-night issue – apologies for the punny title (there I go again). So, thank you for reading this blog – but what now? Will you comment? Will you then scroll down, have a browse then sign out? Let’s DO something about it and save the world! Feel free to answer the below poll to gauge our recycling habbits.

George Ward.


6 Responses

  1. Will sending them back really work? I don’t think we could possibly send every single flyer back, we’d fill all post boxes. Riego Street is covered in flyers. We could take 50 each and the floor would still barely be visible. I know what you mean and it’s annoys me so much. Does anyone actually look at these flyers on the floor and think ‘yeah, I’ll go there right now’ ? Seems pointless to me. Great blog!
    Charlotte x

  2. Brilliant issue raised, I get really annoyed at tottally wasted paper etc. Good luck in taking action!

  3. Thanks Charlotte! I was saying that for junk mail, but unfortunately it wouldn’t work for flyers as there is no stamp on them – the only way would be to collect them and dump them outside the club’s door but, let’s face it, no one is going to that! My main point was that if they were not OVER-produced then significant resources would be saved.

    Thanks Danielle, the four votes on the poll so far are positive!

  4. I really loved the issue you brought up here. I try my upmost to recycle everything in our flat but still get annoyed at the way some products are packaged as they can’t always be recycled to their full potential.

  5. Annoying as I find all the leaflets, I must say I do adore those ‘I Love Vodka’ ones! MY bedroom is smothered in them! Considering the unnecessary amount of flyers that land outside my door, (about fifteen all advertising the same event. Pointless? I think so..) I embarrassingly spent ten to fifteen minutes yesterday searching for a ‘MonkeyBeatz’ flyer to check if it was £2 entry. It just goes to show that no matter how many leaflets there are you can never find the right one! Moving on swiftly from that ramble, I would definietely join you on a boring, rainy day, gather all the leaflets and send them individually back to where they came from! Pathetic? Maybe. Worth it? Definetely.

  6. It’s bad in our block too. But have you seen Fountainbridge? Their floor/stairwell is literally covered with them. It’s such a pain that it’s OUR responsibility to clean it up.

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