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.

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