The Great Mailbox Debate: Why “No Circulars” Signs Might Be Hurting Your Community

As a local business owner and former circular delivery boy, I’ve witnessed firsthand the growing trend of “No Circulars” signs on mailboxes. During a recent flyer delivery run, I was astonished to discover that 52% of the letterboxes in my neighbourhood had these signs. This experience prompted me to reflect on the impact of this trend on local businesses, the community, and the environment.

On my delivery route, I wondered if the lone house at the end of a cul-de-sac, surrounded by neighbours with “No Circulars” signs, felt special or simply watched in amusement as unsuspecting mail delivery people trudged past the other 20 houses to reach their mailbox.

Engaging with the Community:

I had the opportunity to speak with a few residents about their “No Circulars” signs. Many cited concerns about waste and environmental impact as their primary reasons. While I appreciated their perspectives, I couldn’t help but share a few counterpoints that I believe are worth considering.

The Case for Circulars:

1. Supporting Local Businesses: Local businesses rely on the support of their community, and circulars are an effective way to engage with potential customers.

2. Great Deals and Prices: Circulars often contain valuable offers and discounts that can benefit consumers.

3. Sustainable Printing Practices: The printing industry, particularly in New Zealand, has long been committed to sustainability and certified environmentally friendly practices.

4. Supporting the Local Economy: The production of circulars supports a wide range of local industries, from paper manufacturing to tree farming, creating jobs and supporting families.

5. Employment Opportunities for Youth: Delivering circulars has traditionally been a source of employment for young people, and the decline in circulars may be contributing to fewer job opportunities.

6. The Power of Print: Studies have shown that printed materials have a 20% higher retention rate compared to digital content.

The Environmental Debate:

One surprising fact that I discovered in my research is that reading a newspaper online can consume 20 times more carbon emissions than reading a printed version. This challenges the common assumption that digital is always greener.

The Bottom Line:

At the end of the day, circulars, especially those from supermarkets and bottle stores, continue to be widely distributed because they work. They bring deals and specials directly to your doorstep, saving you time and effort in finding the best prices for your favorite products.


While I respect the individual choice to have a “No Circulars” sign, I believe it’s important to consider the broader impact of this trend on our local businesses, economy, and even the environment. As a printer and a member of this community, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the value that circulars can bring and to support our local businesses in their efforts to engage with us.

For more information on the sustainability of the printing industry in New Zealand, I invite you to visit the Print NZ website and read their section on the environment:

If this convinces you that you would like to talk about getting some flyers made and delivered for your business, give us a call – We can help design, print and deliver flyers for you.