Monday, December 19, 2011

ST Online Forum - avoid tonnes of wasted paper

Published in ST Online Forum, 19 December 2011
EACH day, I receive several items of mail in my letter box. After a few days, the mail for a household becomes quite a large bundle.
Many are marketing fliers, unwanted magazines and other junk mail. Legitimate business mail is mixed with the junk mail and could be overlooked.
It would be more convenient and efficient if more businesses sent their regular clients statements and other materials in soft copy through e-mail, rather than physical mail.
They will save on printing and mailing costs and provide more convenient service to their customers. The option to receive the mail in soft or hard copy can be left to each individual customer.
Perhaps the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore could set up a portal for the people to indicate their preference. They can log into this portal to give their name, identity card details, home and e-mail addresses and indicate their preference to receive mail in soft copy. They should be required to authenticate their preference with SingPass.
The approved government or business organisations should be allowed to check their customers' identity card details against this database.
If there is a match, the home and e-mail addresses can be provided to the organisation to verify the request, update its database and to send its materials in soft copy in the future.
The relevant authority can approve the organisations that are allowed to access this database, on an undertaking by the organisations to observe a code of conduct and approved usage.
This centralised system of recording the individual's preference will be convenient for both individuals and organisations.
It will be a major step to convert a large number of individuals to the new method of receiving mail and cut down on the tonnes of paper that is now being generated and delivered.
We will see a significant reduction in our business costs and better use of our resources.
I hope the relevant government agency will take up this challenge.
Tan Kin Lian

1 comment:

Tan Choon Hong said...

Great idea to reduce the volume of dead-tree versions of letters, reports, manuals and marketing literature. SNP, a GLC involved in printing govt letters, brochures, annual reports, won’t be pleased. Perhaps Infocomm will have something to trade, say discounted access to the database for SNP (nothing is free and users of this database are expected to pay towards its creation and upkeep), so SNP can start a direct marketing service. It would be helpful if the database has a companion list for those who want to opt out and receive no ads.

Blog Archive