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Unsubscribe from advertising by mail

Unsubscribe from advertising by mail - It's that easy!

How to unsubscribe from the advertising by mail? Some love the free info and offers - but most hate them and toss them in the trash can at lightning speed. The hatred of direct mail is based, on the one hand, on the fact that it unnecessarily generates extreme amounts of natural resources waste. And secondly, the fact that paper and plastic waste overflows our own mailboxes. This is not at all in keeping with the Zero Waste Lifestyle, where we deliberately want to avoid waste. Fortunately, there are ways and means to stop the unwanted postal advertising!

Here, I'll show you how you can unsubscribe and make sure your mailbox never bursts at the seams again. You'll also find out whether mailbox advertising without consent is permissible at all. Let's go!

Here is another short Overview about the article for you:

  1. Permissible without consent?
  2. Why unsubscribe?
  3. How to order them
  4. Closing words

Is mailbox cancellation permitted without consent?

Advertising that lands in our mailboxes via direct mailers is called mailbox advertising. This basically includes personally addressed, partially addressed and unaddressed direct mail, free advertising leaflets, advertising supplements and daily newspapers, as well as advertising from political parties.

Mailbox advertising is (as of 25.03.2021) subject to competition law. permissible under Section 7 of the Unfair Competition Act (Gesetz gegen unlauteren Bettwewerb - UWG). However, the posting of mailbox advertising is not permitted if we, as the recipient, expressly object to this form of advertising by mail.

Why unsubscribe from unwanted advertising?


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There are three main reasons to avoid the unwanted ads in the future and take the short effort to unsubscribe.

These are the Advantages of the revocation of postal advertising:

  • Environmental protection: Waste of resources (paper & plastic) and Environmental issues counteract.
  • Minimalism: Exercise right to free development without being further harassed.
  • Mailbox: Never again an overflowing mailbox.

"Einkauf aktuell", for example, is a free advertising leaflet distributed by Deutsche Post to around 20 million households every week.₁ No wonder, then, that every year (without consent) around 1.2 billion kilograms of advertising are stuffed into our mailboxes. This results in around 35 kilograms of advertising waste per household every year.₂

But the waste of resources goes beyond paper and plastic. The unwanted postal advertising also has to be printed and transported in an energy-intensive process. This is a waste of resources that is particularly Climate change is to be avoided urgently.

How to unsubscribe from advertising by mail!

Now we have clarified two of three essential questions about advertising mail! Now we answer the HOW. How can you unsubscribe from unwanted junk mail? Here are five tips, all of which you should implement so that you can never again in your mailbox you will find.

1. file an objection (DSGVO compliant)

First use your Right of objection and object to postal advertising. Article 21 in the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) obliges companies to comply with the objection. A short letter or email is usually sufficient. For example, formulate your core message as follows:

I hereby object to the processing and use of my personal data for the purpose of direct marketing and any other promotional purposes in accordance with Article 21 of the General Data Protection Regulation.

As a loyal customer of your company, I expect you to also work to reduce your own paper and plastic waste for environmental reasons.

2. "No advertising" sticker

No advertising sticker
Sample "No advertising" sticker from (you get here*)

The revocation helps to limit the mail advertising of certain companies. But other companies may still send you advertising. That's why you should be sure to put a "no advertising" sticker on your mailbox. "No advertising", however, unfortunately does not yet exclude editorial content. Advertising with a TV guide can therefore continue to be thrown in. The BGH therefore recommends a sticker with the inscription "No advertising leaflets and no advertising sheets". You are definitely on the absolutely safe side with the following inscription:

"No advertising, no handbills, no junk mail, no free newspapers or weeklies thrown in"

You can design the sticker yourself and print it out or for example order online here*. Either way, you make it clear by attaching it to your mailbox that you do not want any advertising by mail.

Tip: Also feel free to distribute the stickers to your neighbors so that they too can live more sustainably and avoid the garbage.

3. register in DDV and ROBINSON list

You can also express your objection to mailbox advertising by registering on the so-called Robinson list of the German Direct Marketing Association e.V. clarify. In addition, you can also sign up for the Robinson list of the DDV German Dialog Marketing Association e. V. one. Many companies voluntarily comply with not bothering registered persons and households with unwanted advertising in their mailboxes.

Here you can enter directly in both lists:

4. no improvement? Then threaten and contact consumer advice center

If a company disturbs you with postal advertising despite objections and stickers on your mailbox, then it is an unreasonable nuisance, so that there is a violation of Section 7 (1) sentence 2 UWG. If this is the case, you should first of all make it clear once again by letter or e-mail that you are never again wish to receive an advertisement from this company in your mailbox.

Still no improvement? In the next step you can tell the Report your complaint to the consumer center, so that in the event of frequent violations by the company, they can issue a Warning procedure can call into being. An official complaint on your part can be expensive in the end, so the route via the consumer advice center is usually the better one.

5. support lawsuit / petition for landmark ruling & opt-in solution

Despite all efforts, many people continue to receive unlawful advertising by mail. That is why the Berlin initiative "Last advertising founded, which filed a lawsuit Fundamental ruling and in the medium term a "Opt-in solution" in the fight against advertising waste. The latter means that only those households that expressly request it receive advertising. Currently, it's the other way around: mailbox advertising legally ends up in the mail with those who don't expressly object.

Here you can now support the petition of the initiative "Last advertising!

Unsubscribe from advertising mail made easy!

A retraction and a sticker on your mailbox can go a long way and help you out, Save paper waste and Reduce plastic waste. If these measures are not sufficient, you will have to bring out the big guns. As soon as you have expressly objected to the advertising by mail, you are definitely in the right.

I hope this post helped you achieve a more eco-friendly and minimalist mailbox. Do you have any questions or further tips in the fight against advertising waste? Then feel free to write me a comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: There are dozens of other ways to conserve resources in everyday life. In the linked article I present you my best tips for this!

₁ B. Wintermantel, "Einkauf aktuell": Environmentalists want to sue Deutsche Post (as of Dec. 16, 2019), available at [25.03.2021].

₂ Letzte Werbung e.V.: Knowledge & Study, available at [25.03.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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