Posted by: katiegardner | May 21, 2008

The Say No to Phonebook’s Campaign launch


When we asked the UK public, ‘How many people use printed phonebooks anymore?’,  4 out of 5 respondents said, ‘Not me’ and backed an opt-out system for phonebooks much like you can do with the mail preference service. Let’s face it, it’s a book filled with advertising, so you should have the right to choose whether you receive it or not.


More importantly, how many people still use printed phonebooks? Online directories, such as, offer UK wide coverage, have flexible search options, and offer additional valuable content such as interactive maps and local services.


The research also told us:

  • The Internet is quicker for finding information (62 per cent)
  • Phonebooks are too cumbersome (56 per cent)
  • Phonebooks go out of date too quickly (39 per cent)


People were also frustrated at how difficult it is to recycle phonebooks: nearly half (49.2 per cent) of those questioned said there were no facilities for recycling phonebooks in their area. While 99% of Boroughs & Counties offer some sort of recycling facilities, it’s estimated that just over half of the books are actually recycled. Add this annual addition to landfill to the huge environmental cost of producing, distributing and recycling the books when over 60% of UK households have Internet access at home.


With 25 million households in the country receiving on average of 3 phonebooks a year, that amounts to 75,000 tonnes of waste – that’s enough to cover the whole of Hyde Park twice, every year!


So today we kick off the campaign to Say No To Phonebooks, asking for the establishment of a centralised and publicised system to allow UK households to opt-out of receiving the phonebook. It’s definitely long overdue.




  1. Good luck with the campaign. I don’t know anyone who still uses a printed phone book, yet every household gets one. It’s an enormous waste of paper.

  2. Congratulations on kicking off this site and the movement to stop the delivery of unsolicited telephone books. has a similar opt out system for North America. We are getting thousands of sign ups per month. Good luck with the campaign. As we state in our efforts we are not against the telephone book but the saturation marketing of the books. If we want one we will call and ask for one otherwise stop dropping them off on my doorstep.

  3. our livley hood depends on delivering these books every year and you can opt out by telling yell , or bt that you dont want one so there

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