Unsolicited Advertising Material and Litter

Unsolicited advertising material (commonly known as junk mail) such as catalogues, newspapers, pamphlets and flyers can become a litter problem if not contained within a letter box. Weather such as wind and rain can cause loose materials to be scatted throughout public areas, causing a nuisance to the community, potential pollution of the environment and impacting the amenity of the area. Under the Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2021 (the Local Law) it is a requirement that no unsolicited advertising material is delivered to a property other than in a letter box or within the premises in a location where there is no potential for litter to occur.

If you have a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker (or equivalent) on your letterbox, fence, etc but are still receiving junk mail, Council is unable to regulate this matter. A complaint can be submitted to the Queensland Government for investigation. For more information, refer to their website Unsolicited advertising material (junk mail).

What must you do if you deliver advertising material?

You must ensure that you only deliver advertising material to a letterbox or other location where it will be protected from weather and will not become a litter issue. Some suggestions of how to comply with the Local Law could include:

  • if a letterbox is full, do not leave further advertising materials there
  • If there is a no junk mail sign, do not leave any advertising material at the property
  • if the advertising being delivered is too large for the mailbox provided and you can legally and safely access another place where it will be easily found and protected from the weather, consider leaving the large items there instead
  • if it is very windy and/or wet weather, consider using a plastic sleeve and/or rubber band to contain all advertising materials together to be protected from being blown away or saturated.

What must you do if you are a publisher or advertiser?

As a publisher or advertiser, you have direct responsibilities under the Local Law to ensure that those who deliver unsolicited advertising materials on your behalf do so in a responsible manner that will not cause litter or amenity issues. You must ensure:

  • there are conditions in any distribution contracts entered into that require compliance with the requirements of the Local Law;
  • that best endeavours are taken to monitor and ensure that compliance is being met with the contractual requirements; and
  • that any staff responsible for delivering material are sufficiently trained in and aware of their responsibilities under the Local Law.

Complaints about unsolicited advertising causing litter

Advertising companies are often unaware the material being delivered on their behalf is causing litter and amenity impacts on the community. Brisbane City Council encourages all residents to contact advertising publishers or companies before making a complaint to Council.

To lodge a complaint about unsolicited advertising causing litter:

Last updated: 26 April 2022

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.