The Australian Bereavement Register is keen to put a stop to ‘dead letters’.

Marketers sent 1.7 million letters to the deceased between October and December last year, causing heartache to families and also at a cost to the environment.

“On average, a deceased person receives 68 items of direct mail during the first year following their death.” TABR managing director Glenn Harrison said.

With more than 140,000 people dying in Australia each year, this amounts to 9.5 million pieces of unnecessary direct mail ending up in suburban bins.

TABR was founded in order to stop bereaved families being bombarded with unwanted mail.

Now with 420,000 names on the register and the support of major hospital, government and industry partners, the innovative service offers families a free, one-contact service to remove their loved one from direct mailing lists. On average, each tonne of paper removed from commercial correspondence saves 18 trees, 167,500 litres of water and 3300 kg of greenhouse gas emissions.

Companies fund the register when they wash their mail out lists with TABR to ensure data is effective and up-to-date.

Business and charity organisations with high volume direct marketing are being encouraged to get on board and reduce the waste.

Freya Paterson of Planet Ark said registering could help cut the waste of resources while easing the stress on grieving families.

“The bereavement register makes it much easier for marketers to avoid causing unnecessary pain for grieving families.” Mr Harrison said. “It will also help reduce waste of print and paper costs, and the huge amount of money and energy used in postage.”

Register details of the deceased directly online at call 1300 887 914 or email

* This article first appeared in the Brisbane Edition of Your Time Magazine – April 2016.