Efforts to Block Junk Mail Slowed by Postal Service and Environmentalists!

I am annoyed by “Junk Mail”, Erica loves it!  But she loves it mostly because we get so little mail in Asia, where we live most of the time,  that getting mail – even if it’s junk – is fun for Erica.

Junk Mail (aka Standard Mail)It is amazing though just HOW MUCH junk mail ends up in our mailbox!  It’s hard to believe that in our day-in-age of ‘Environmental Awareness’ and over all disdain for rude marketing (SPAM, Phone Calls at Dinner Time, Mountains of Junk Mail) that the US POST OFFICE and our Federal Government Representatives are promoting MORE junk mail, not less!

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights the problem.  Here are some excerpts from the story;

Chris Pearson, a state legislator in Vermont, had a sense that the people were with him when he proposed a bill last November to allow residents to block junk mail.

Then came the pushback from the postmasters, who told Pearson and other lawmakers that “standard” mail, the post office’s name for junk mail, has become the lifeblood of the U.S. Postal Service and that jobs depend on it.

Barred by law from lobbying, the Postal Service is nonetheless trying to make its case before a growing number of state legislatures that are weighing bills to create Do Not Mail registries, which are similar to the popular National Do Not Call Registry.

The Postal Service is working closely with the Direct Marketing Association, the trade group that represents retailers and the printing industry, in its new campaign — Mail Moves America — which is designed to quash the Do Not Mail initiatives.

So far in the 2008 campaign cycle, the Direct Marketing Association has made $141,877 in contributions to federal candidates, including $6,610 to Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service and does not face reelection until 2012.

Perhaps surprisingly, environmental groups — whose members say they are concerned about junk mail — are cool to the idea of a registry that prohibits marketers from sending mail to those enrolled and that fines violators.

One reason may be that most environmental groups are themselves junk mailers. They use standard mail for their solicitation letters.

Postal officials say they are aware of the environmental concerns related to junk mail. In testimony on Capitol Hill last week, Postmaster General John E. Potter told lawmakers that the Postal Service has one answer: Recycling bins positioned beneath personal mailboxes at post offices, to catch junk mail as it tumbles out.

So, which are you, a junk-mail lover or hater?