Elastic bands

Steve Woods made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I cannot help noticing that all the streets round my area of Bristol are frequently littered with the rubber bands used to collate bundles of post for mail deliveries. In the light of this could you inform me:

1. How many elastic bands - in terms of either numbers or weight - does the Royal Mail procure and/or consume per year?

2. How many postal delivery workers have been fined or successfully prosecuted for dropping litter (i.e. the said elastic bands) in the last year for which records are available?

3. What steps are being made by the Royal Mail to stop such littering and to recycle elastic bands?

Yours faithfully,

Steve Woods

Royal Mail Group Limited

Dear Mr Woods,

Thank you for your request for information received on 10/12/2008, which we
are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Act you
should expect a reply from us to be sent by 12/01/2008, which is twenty
working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons for this and giving a
revised date by which we will reply.

If in the mean time you have any questions or would like to contact us
about your request, please contact us by telephone 01252 806513 or
alternatively email or write to us at the address below. Please be assured
that we are giving this our attention and will get back to you shortly.

Yours sincerely

Roger Mence
[Royal Mail Group request email]
Freedom of Information Unit
PO Box 341, ALDERSHOT, GU11 1WW

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in England
and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 148 Old Street, LONDON EC1V
9HQ


Steve Woods
<request-4662-f3f870ea@whatdoth To: FOI requests at Royal Mail Group <[Royal Mail Group request email]>
eyknow.com> cc:
Sent by: Steve Woods Subject: Freedom of Information request - Elastic bands
<request-4662-f3f870ea@whatdoth
eyknow.com>


10/12/2008 10:12

Dear Sir or Madam,

I cannot help noticing that all the streets round my area of
Bristol are frequently littered with the rubber bands used to
collate bundles of post for mail deliveries. In the light of this
could you inform me:

1. How many elastic bands - in terms of either numbers or weight -
does the Royal Mail procure and/or consume per year?

2. How many postal delivery workers have been fined or successfully
prosecuted for dropping litter (i.e. the said elastic bands) in the
last year for which records are available?

3. What steps are being made by the Royal Mail to stop such
littering and to recycle elastic bands?

Yours faithfully,

Steve Woods

show quoted sections

Royal Mail Group Limited

Dear Mr Woods,

Re: Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information by e mail received on the 10th
December 2008.

We can confirm Royal Mail holds this information.

In your request you specifically asked for:

1. How many elastic bands - in terms of either numbers or weight -does the
Royal Mail procure and/or consume per year?

For the last three years, the number of rubber bands used by Royal Mail
was:

2007/8 871,695,000
2006/7 825,750,000
2005/6 753,480,000

2. How many postal delivery workers have been fined or successfully
prosecuted for dropping litter (i.e. the said elastic bands) in the last
year for which records are available?

Royal Mail Group has not been served with a fixed penalty notice or
prosecuted for a littering offence under the Environmental Protection Act
1990 arising from the discarding of elastic bands. Royal Mail Group would
not necessarily become aware of such action being taken against
individuals. However, we are not aware of any delivery officer having been
prosecuted for littering when discarding elastic bands.

3. What steps are being made by the Royal Mail to stop such littering and
to recycle elastic bands?

Royal Mail re-uses many millions of rubber bands each year and bands are
generally re-used within delivery offices and mail centres. We remind our
people about the benefits of re-using bands and also ask them not to
discard them after use.

Royal Mail uses millions of rubber bands each year because they are very
useful when it comes to sorting and delivering the mail. Unfortunately,
given the quantity that we use it is inevitable that some rubber bands will
be dropped by mistake. The vast majority of our people are hard working and
conscientious but, and as with any labour intensive organisation, errors
will occasionally happen. Issues concerning the environment are very
important to us, in particular those of street cleanliness and recycling.
The rubber bands we use are specifically designed to be more biodegradable
than the normal brown rubber bands and this is intended to lessen the
environmental impact.

Going forwards we have a number of process reengineering initiatives that
should reduce the volume of elastic bands we use in our operation:
• collection reengineering
• customer traying
• Reengineering mail handling equipment

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request you do have a
right to request an internal review, in which case please write to the Head
of Information Compliance, Royal Mail House, Company Secretary's Office,
5th Floor, 148 Old Street, LONDON, EC1V 9HQ. An internal panel will then
review the request, and you will be advised of the outcome.

If, having requested an internal review by Royal Mail, you are still not
satisfied with our response you also have a right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Marie Teasdale
Freedom of Information Case Officer
Company Secretary's Office

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John Cross left an annotation ()

This response is (at the time of writing) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail_... and was referred to in this news article: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scotti...

Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya left an annotation ()

We live in front a pillar box and I have collected as many as 36 elastic bands a day. I was delighted to read that I am not the only one who objected to such a waste.
I will look into the possibility of delivery officers being prosecuted for littering.
I will use your letter and the answer given by RM in our monthly local newsletter.
Many thanks, Mr Woods!

Ian Potts left an annotation ()

Thank you, Steve Woods, for raising this issue. I am in two minds (and with tongue in cheek). On the one hand, I hate the litter aspect. On the other hand, my local Lib. Dem. group finds the collected elastic bands very useful for their door-to-door mailshots. Regards. Ian Potts.

John Cross left an annotation ()

tag: #wikipedia

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