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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 06:19 GMT 07:19 UK
Junk mail limit warning is made
Letters being sorted
Possible changes will be discussed with trade unions
The Royal Mail has been urged by council leaders not to scrap the current limit on the amount of unaddressed mail it delivers.

The Local Government Association has written to Royal Mail Chief Executive Adam Crozier to make the plea.

The Royal Mail plans to lift its limit of three items per week of unaddressed mail being delivered to homes.

The LGA warned of the impact of junk mail on the environment, and the cost to the tax-payer of disposing of it.

About 78,000 metric tons of junk mail ended up in landfill sites last year.

The chairman of the LGA, Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said any changes to the current rules were unnecessary.

He said: "The problem is that all of us are throwing away 3% more waste. In the last five years the volume of waste we are all throwing away has increased by about 20%.

'Very profitable'

"It's immensely important for both the environment and for the council tax that we try and cut that down and I think that junk mail is not necessary."

The Royal Mail says it only delivers about a quarter of unaddressed mail - such as leaflets from local businesses.

It says its rivals are responsible for the remainder of such deliveries.

As a consequence, the Royal Mail says any planned changes to the limit - which is currently being discussed with trade unions - would not have a significant effect.

BBC Local Government Correspondent John Andrew said: "There is no doubt that this part of their business, although it is a very tiny part of their business, is actually very profitable.

"The Royal Mail is saying that the profits from that business helps to keep the cost of normal postage down. They point out that [the cost of] posting a first class letter in the UK is the cheapest in the whole of Europe."

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01 Sep 06 |  South East Wales
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06 Oct 05 |  Working Lunch

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