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48% Of Consumers Think Direct Mail Accounts For Half Of Municipal Waste

U.S. Consumers think that direct mail does more harm to the environment than is actually the case, according to research from DMNews and Pitney Bowes.

The survey (PDF) found that negative perceptions of mail’s environmental impact are based on what the two companies call “widespread public misunderstandings.” For example, the report says that 48 percent of those surveyed believe that mail is half of the content in the nation’s landfills. Mail, according to the report, actually makes up two percent of the nation’s municipal waste.

Americans also believe that mail delivery is a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. But the report says that “mail delivery falls well below many other daily activities in its carbon footprint, such as taking a shower or using household appliances.”

“The door is open for Pitney Bowes and others in the industry to take that crucial next step and engage with the public on our environmental practices,” said Michael Critelli, Executive Chairman, Pitney Bowes. “Consumers value the opportunities that direct mail makes available to them, and now we need to reassure them that we are as concerned about the planet as they are, and are acting accordingly.”

The report (PDF) offers a number of ways for marketers to try and change the perception.

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