[holding answer 14 November 2007]: In July 2003 the Government signed an agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which represents about 900 members involved in the direct mail and promotions industry, to raise recycling levels of direct mail to 30 per cent. by the end of 2005, 55 per cent. by the end of 2009 and 70 per cent. by the end of 2013. In 2003 about 13 per cent. of direct mail was recycled. The DMA estimates that recycling of direct mail rose to 28-30 per cent. in 2005.
The DMA also agreed to further develop the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) to improve the targeting of addressed direct mail, provide greater flexibility for both consumers and producers, and increase awareness of the service among householders. The DMA estimates that registrations with the MPS rose from 1.1 million in 2003 to 2.7 million in 2005.
Together with the Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP), the DMA is working to develop a recycle logo to be printed on all direct mail. The DMA is also working with WRAP in conjunction with the paper mills and adhesive manufacturers to minimise the use of materials that may contaminate the recycling process.
The Waste Strategy for England 2007 commits the Government to working with the DMA to develop an opt-out system for unaddressed direct mail, and to exploring with them whether an opt-in system would be an appropriate mechanism to further reduce unnecessary direct mail. These discussions are underway.