Why Are Companies Still Sending So Much Junk Mail?

Tired of finding a mailbox filled with junk mail every day? You’re not alone. The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail every year, which equals approximately 1.5 trees. Multiply that by all U.S. households, and junk mail destroys more than 100 million trees a year -- the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. On top of that, approximately 44 percent of all junk mail gets tossed out without ever being opened, and only 22 percent gets recycled.

What we pay for all that junk:

  • Hundreds of millions of pieces of junk mail (also called direct mail, bulk mail, and standard mail) are sent through the U.S. Postal Service annually -- none of them requested by the recipients.
  • About 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in U.S. landfills every year. Americans pay $370 million USD annually to dispose of junk mail that does not get recycled.
  • The deforestation involved in manufacturing junk mail creates the same amount of annual greenhouse gas emissions as 3.7 million cars.
More Info: Reader's Digest

Discussion Comments


This post does not answer the question of the title "Why Are Companies Still Sending So Much Junk Mail?" Yes, you made me look, but shame on you for once again not fulfilling the promise of your title.


junk mail should be charged more postage than 1st class


Is there any way to opt out of receiving junk mail?


How do we protest junk mail and get off their lists?

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