Dear Royal Mail Group Limited,

I often see the red rubber bands used in postal deliveries littering pavements and the paths leading to front doors.

It is not unusual to see more two or three lying close together. Yesterday during a ten minute walk in my area I counted over fifty of these bands and I have seen similar numbers in other parts of the country.

This has been an issue since at least 2006 when The Times ran an item on the wastefulness of the red rubber bands (26 January).

Last year (2009) BBC’s PM programme featured the issue.

Because I see no evidence that such reports and other expressions of public concern have made any difference, I request for the last five years available:

1) Royal Mail expenditure on red rubber bands.

2) The number of red rubber bands purchased.

3) Break down by region and or district on the quantities of red rubber bands supplied and how these figures relate to either the number of households or volume of mail delivered.

Royal Mail is also invited to place any information that might demonstrate that effective measures are in place to limit this form of litter and flagrant waste.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Burns

Royal Mail Group Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Burns,

Thank you for your request for information received on 31 December 2010,
which we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the
Act you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 31 January 2011, 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 (0114) 2414215 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,

Kate Fearn
Company Secretary's Office
Freedom of Information Case Officer
[1][Royal Mail Group request email]

Freedom of Information Unit
Royal Mail Sheffield
2nd Floor
Pond Street
Sheffield
S98 6HR

(0114) 2414215

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,
LONDON, EC4Y 0HQ

References

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1. mailto:[Royal Mail Group request email]

Peter Arronsen left an annotation ()

Paul,

Thank goodness we have people like you, who are willing to take the matters to the next level.

Our blog is dedicated to the topic of red rubber bands and dog fouling. We need enthusiasm such as yours to drive the cause.

I ask that you and all like minded campaigners visit us here: http://dogfoulingandredrubberbands.blogs...

Royal Mail Group Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Burns,

Please find attached a response to your recent Freedom of Information
Request.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Fearn
Company Secretary's Office
Freedom of Information Case Officer
[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,
LONDON, EC4Y 0HQ

Dear Kate Fearn

Thank you for your reply posted today to my FOI request made on 31 December.

The reply does not make clear if the figures provided are just for red rubber bands. If not, please supply the information requested.

In the meanwhile, let us assume that the data is specifically about red bands.

By adding your figures for the last five financial year, it appears a total in excess of £4.7 million was spent on c. 4,000 million red rubber bands.

According to The Guardian on 2.11.10, Royal Mail letter volumes stood at 68 million items posted per day. Multiplying this by 6 days and 52 weeks gives in round numbers 21,000 million letters posted per year.

Divide this product by the number of rubber bands purchased in 2009/10, 760.5 million, and it suggests that a new rubber band is needed for every 28th letter.

If Royal Mail broadly accepts the maths, I would like an explanation as to why so many bands are needed.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Burns

Peter Arronsen left an annotation ()

Keep at it Paul, we need this level of tenacious challenging to keep us all safe!

I have updated our blog.

Regards,

Peter
http://dogfoulingandredrubberbands.blogs...

Darrell Herd left an annotation ()

The red elastic bands are inferior and they appear to be one size only which is far two small for the changing mix of mail that is seeing more packets than ever before especially letterbox size items such as DVDs and CDs.

Housing growth will see a need for more elastic bands.

Postalworkers make up their delivery in bundles the amount of letters in that bundle is irrelevant unless it is too many or too little for the elstic bands to be of any use. Item sposted is not a reliable indicator.

The lack of sizes in rubber bands mean they break more often thus RML are having to use more bands than before when they used a varity of sizes and thicknesess of the traditional brown bands.

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