High Street banks are being urged to reduce the amount of statements they send to customers in bid to cut down on waste.
In research commissioned by DSTi Output, a leading mail and technology company, they found that banks were wasting nearly £4 million a year on unread leaflets within statements.
It discovered that only three out of ten people actually read these leaflets, resulting in over £375 million going straight into the bin.
If a more conscientious approach was taken, it is thought that the industry could reduce waste and save millions of pounds each year.
DSTi Output chief executive officer Tim Delahay said: Banks need to look at all the options available to help them market and cross sell products to customers. With over 70% of inserts remaining unread, it is essential to see what can be done on the statement itself.
The cost to banks is also high when you consider that on average, an insert within a statement costs approximately 9 pence to design, produce and insert.
Delahay explains: There has to be a better way and there is. The good news is that the technology is now available for banks and other organisations to print colour, targeted messages directly onto statements or bills using a white paper solution.
Not only does this eliminate the need for separate inserts but is also means that companies no longer need pre-printed stock.
If banks were to adopt these methods over 140,000 trees could be saved each year.