No Advertising/No Junk Mail what is the difference?

No Advertising Material

The Lane Cove Council has free “No Advertising Material Stickers” available at the Lane Cove Civic Centre. This initiative is designed to reduce the number of unsolicited catalogues that choke up your letterboxes. What does this sticker mean? Does it mean that all unsolicited/unaddressed mail/flyers are prohibited? Is it against the law to ignore this sticker and deposit unsolicited/unaddressed mail/flyers into a mailbox displaying this sticker. ITC is here to answer all your questions.

When is it legal to distribute advertising material?

Advertising material can only be distributed in three ways:

  • Placed into people’s letterboxes;
  • Inserted into newspaper receptacles; or
  • Under doors to premises.

People cannot place advertising material under a car’s windscreen wipers (or wedged into a car door), on top of property gates or fences, in a public place, in open private places and in other inappropriate areas where it has the potential to become litter. So when you see someone placing leaflets on cars in the Rosenthal Avenue Car park; that is against the law. Personally, there is nothing more annoying that driving off and then realising there is a leaflet under your windscreen. Now at this stage, we hear you saying “that’s fabulous, this means that Lane Cove Rangers cannot leave parking infringement notices on our windscreens”. If only this was true, but this is also an exception to the above rule.

What does No Advertising Material mean?

By placing the free No Advertising Material sticker on your letterbox you can reduce the unnecessary waste caused by unwanted advertising materials. You will also be helping the environment as a huge amount of resources/energy goes into printing and distributing these materials. The Distribution Standards Board (DSB) is the self-regulatory organisation established by the Australian Catalogue Association (this body represents about 90% of the unaddressed catalogue distributors). Their voluntary Code of Practice stipulates that members are not to place advertising material in a letterbox where a No Advertising Material sticker is displayed. If you have a No Advertising Material Sticker displayed and you’re still receiving catalogues you can contact the Distribution Standards Board on 1800 676 136 or [email protected].

It is not illegal to put unaddressed mail in a box that displays this sticker. This sticker is only aimed at catalogues and people who distribute them. It’s not aimed at stopping the distribution of Lane Cove Council leaflets/news, newspapers, electoral materials and items from local businesses or registered charities and catalogue distributors who are not members of the DSB.

Council has free ‘No Advertising Stickers’ available at the Lane Cove Civic Centre. Click here if you would like to request a sticker for your letterbox.

Remember: Paper and cardboard junk mail can be recycled, but not the plastic wrap it comes in. Be sure not to include plastic wrap in your recycling bins.

What does No Junk Mail mean?

When a resident displays No Junk Mail they are basically saying to do not place any unsolicited/unaddressed materials in my letterbox. Again It is not illegal to put unaddressed mail in a box that displays this sticker. If you display this sticker, but still receive “junk mail”, you can call the company, who produced the materials, and suggest they ask their distributor to stop putting material in letterboxes with No Junk Mail stickers. Point out that receiving material in spite of your sticker makes you less likely to use their services/buy their product.

If you really really want to make it clear about your stand on junk mail then you could look at a sticker like this:

Junk Mail
Image Source:

When is it Illegal to distribute Junk Mail?

According to the NSW Environmental Protection Agency, the following are examples of illegally distributing unaddressed mail:

Examples include:

  • Leaving a number of price lists for a take-away restaurant on top of the letterboxes outside a group of flats. (However no offence is committed if the price lists are placed inside each letterbox.)
  • Placing promotional material on top of a boundary wall or fence to residential premises.
  • Placing advertising material under the windscreens of vehicles parked in a parking station or in a private driveway (or wedging brochures in the door of a vehicle).
  • Leaving a pile of unsecured brochures on the access footpath to a number of town houses.

Not everyone hates junk mail. ITC recently spoke to a new Lane Cove resident, who had moved into one of the new Apartment complexes, and he was annoyed that the No Advertising Stickers were placed on all letterboxes. He liked his catalogues and he liked knowing what was on special at Coles and Woolworths. Many residents do not mind receiving local info, but really hate the larger catalogues that clog up a mailbox.


No junk mail full letterbox

What is your view – do you like unaddressed mail or not?

If you are interested in other ways to help the environment you might like to read the following blogs:

Are You Recycling Correctly?

ITC visits the repair cafe

Fridge Buy Back

Top Tips on Recycling in Lane Cove

E- Waste Collection 2016

Crop Swap Sydney

New Community Garden

Compost Revolution

Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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