Junk mail report – January ‘07


For those from the Northern Hemisphere I have to note that January is the slowest month in New Zealand. It is the peak of summer and time for holidays
and annual leaves. Nothing happens until mid-February.

However, our test letterbox managed to accumulate a remarkable collection of junk mail – almost 2 kilos of waste!

The worst offenders were local supermarkets, hardware and appliances stores came in 1.8kg of junk:

All junk for JanuaryFood and supermarketsJunk foodLocal junkThick Vista

The Warehouse and The Warehouse stationery accounted for almost half of it.
The rest was shared between

  • Farmers
  • Bond + Bond
  • Harvey Norman
  • Mitre 10
  • Bunnings
  • Newbolds
  • Dowsons shoes
  • Briscoes
  • Noel Leeming
  • K-Mart
  • Toyworld
  • Postie+
  • Dick Smith
  • Placemakers
  • Big Save Furniture
  • Arbuckles
  • Whitcoulls
  • Repco
  • Horizon Media
  • JK Kids Gear
  • PaperPlus
  • Hannahs
  • SuperCheap Auto
  • EcoMist

The food section came in 0.5 kg and consisted mainly of the local Countdown and New World with an occasional Woolworths.

The junk food section was surprisingly thin with only:

  • PizzaHutt – 3 pages
  • Domino’s Pizza – 2 pages, 3 coupons
  • KFC – 1 page

A special “Thank You” goes to Microsoft for sending out a reminder of its new operating system on a stunning looking postcard printed on at least 350gsm paper.

Small local businesses and charities looked tiny compared to the rest of the pile:
2 education provider
5 gyms
1 donation appeal
1 toy-shop opening announcement


According to New Zealand Post database, there are approximately 1,300,000 letterboxes in urban delivery areas. Assume that they all received the same amount of 1.8kg of junk during January then it stands for 1,300,000 x 1.8 = 2,340 tons of wasted paper for 4 mln population.


January’s junk mail is small fraction of what was delivered around Christmas time. Nonetheless, it is wasteful and annoying practice. The first call goes out to New World, Countdown and The Wharehouse to stop wasting trees and stand on the side of the environment.

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