No more letter advertising: How Amsterdam saves 6,000 tons of wastepaper every year


In Amsterdam, you will not find “No advertising please” stickers on the mailboxes, but ones that say, “Advertising please”. In the capital of the Netherlands, advertising may only be placed in the mailbox if you explicitly want it. This saves the city 6,000 tonnes of waste every year.

Up to 100 kilograms of unaddressed advertising end up in the mailbox of an Austrian household every year. A study found that in countries such as the US, Canada or Germany, the average lies at 21 kilograms. Most of it goes straight into the garbage. This is not only annoying, but also a huge waste of resources. Amsterdam solved this problem by switching from an opt-out to an opt-in system for letterbox advertising.

In Amsterdam, you only get advertisement when you want

Like in most countries, the Amsterdammers had to put a sticker with ” No advertising please” on their mailboxes to avoid unwanted advertising. Now, the opposite is the case in Amsterdam. Only with a notice on the mailbox stating that one wishes to receive postal advertising, one will get it. This has enabled Amsterdam to save 6,000 tons of paper and 700 garbage collection trips per year. Only 23% of Amsterdam’s households have chosen the opt-in option. Other cities in Europe are now considering adopting the model.

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The social democratic magazine covers current political events, both in Austria and in the rest of the world. We view society, state and economy from a progressive, emancipatory point of view. Kontrast casts the gaze of social justice on the world.


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