October 5, 2022

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Recently, a motion was put forward in Switzerland’s federal parliament to ban junk mail, reported RTS.

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In 2018, Swiss Post delivered 2.7 million adverts equivalent to 128 tonnes of paper, according to Katja Christ a parliamentarian from the Liberal Green Party and author of the motion. Nearly 60% of the adverts are unsolicited and around half go directly into the bin without being read.

In addition, “No advertising” (“Pas de publicité, SVP” or “Bitte keine Werbung”) mailbox stickers seem to provide only limited protection from the constant onslaught of unsolicited junk mail in Switzerland.

The proposal would limit delivery of advertising to only those who expressly request it.

The city of Amsterdam banned junk mail in 2018 only to have the ban challenged in court by companies behind mail-based advertising. In September 2021, a Dutch court ruled in favour of the city and their ban on unsolicited junk mail was maintained. According to Dutch News, the municipality of Amsterdam claims the ban reduces per capita waste by 33 kgs a year.

While Switzerland’s parliament accepted the idea, not everyone is behind it. A union representative warned of the loss of jobs, a number which could reach as high as 4,000.

If change required the preservation of all existing jobs there would not be much of it. In addition, if the same people were redeployed to work on something less wasteful, Switzerland might see a small uptick in productivity as well as less waste.

The next step is for the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house to decide on the proposal.

More on this:
RTS article (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now

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