How To Stop Charity Bags
If you wish to stop receiving charity bags then put up a sign like this.
Do you get a constant stream of charity bags through you letter box and want to stop them?
Few people realise that since 2017 charities have been banned from putting clothing bags through your door if you display a sign clearly stating the words “no charity bags” or “no clothing bags”. The details are in the Fundraising Code of Practice.
Code 16 (10) (t) Fundraising Code of Practice states
Organisations operating house to house bag collections for charitable purposes
MUST NOT deliver bags to a property that displays a sticker or sign which includes
the words ‘no charity bags’, ‘no clothing bags’ or any other words which clearly
indicate that the householder does not wish to donate through this method.
However despite having a notice with the words no charity bags clearly displayed on the door we have still received the occasional bag.
Why is this such a big deal? Well we have a young Clumberdoodle dog called Archie who loves to get the post and bring it to us once the postman has been. However sometimes he gets to the post before we can supervise him and a large plastic sack will choke and possibly kill him before we can intervene.
If you want to know what to do if your dog eats a plastic bag click the link for more advice.
There is also the issue of plastic waste. These charity bags usually have an outer plastic wrapper containing a larger plastic sack inside – both totally non recyclable and thus a hazard to our environment.
So I have previously decided to do something to stop it. I have made a large notice situated directly above the letter box stating no charity bags. This has stopped a large majority of bags coming through the letter box. However recently they seem to have started up again.
On one recent occasion I saw the girl who pushed the bag through the door and challenged her whilst still on my drive way. I was surprised to find out she spoke no English and could not understand the points I was making to her. She had an Eastern European accent and alas I gave up and gave her the plastic bag back. I should have retained it and taken this up with the charity concerned.
Now on the 2nd January 2019 I had another charity bag pushed through the letter box whilst we were out with the dog and were able to recover it from the floor before he could!
This time it was on behalf of Kidney Research UK. Karen decided to email them and complain. She received a standard apology in reply. Karen decided to reply to this email pointing out what a bad reflection it was on the charity. She received a further apology and a request for suggestions as to how to improve the situation. I have copied the emails below:
In response to your request for suggestions, the Distributor should be fined for each complaint you receive such as mine and the proceeds of this fine could be directed towards your charity. You could also undertake appropriate training of Distributors especially with regard to understanding the consequences of ignoring a “no charity bag sign”.
I am also aware that the Distributing Companies often employ non English speaking staff. My Husband has even challenged one who could not speak English and therefore could not read the signage preventing her from committing this offence.
If the donation bag was changed to a paper based product which was totally recyclable then this would at least mitigate some of the risk to pets.
But the ultimate solution is to stop this type of bag collection altogether, as every High Street now seems to be only full of Charity Shops, which is how I personally donate clothing and bric a brac to charity.
Shortly after this Karen received the below email from the Director of Fundraising Kidney Research UK
Good morning Karen
Thank you for your emails, which Louise has forwarded on. I personally welcome your feedback and suggestions and I will forward them onto the Textile Recycling Association and the Fundraising Regulator (removing your name and contact details).
Thank you for raising this issue and I so sorry I can’t retrospectively change the situation. However, as explained I have terminated our contract for all clothing bag collections which will definitely prevent this occurring in the future. Indeed, we’ve already actioned your ‘ultimate solution’ from a Kidney Research UK perspective and, like you, hope other charities will follow suit.
I’m very happy to chat on the phone (xxxxxxxxxx) to apologise or explain further.
May I wish you a very enjoyable and ‘charity bag free’ 2019.
Director of Fundraising
Kidney Research UK
So I have to give credit where it is due to Kidney Research UK they do take these issues seriously and do act upon complaints.
I have now made a bigger sign and some images which may help with the language barrier and replaced my old sign above the letter box as you can see above.
Do make your own sign and D0 Complain as without taking action the charities are hiding behind the excuse the distributor is to be blamed. Complain to the Charity, the distributor and the Fundraising Regulator whose address is below if you want to make a change to these persistent bag collections
Fundraising Regulator 2nd Floor CAN Mezzanine Building 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH 0300 999 3407 https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/complaints
UPDATE September 2019
I have had my first charity bag through the door since January despite my clear signs to prevent them.
This time the charity was Leukaemia Care a blood cancer charity. Below is the email complaint I sent to the charity together with the reply. If you want this dangerous practice to stop then do complain as I now do.
“Organisations operating house to house bag collections for charitable purposes MUST NOT deliver bags to a property that displays a sticker or sign which includes the words ‘no charity bags’, ‘no clothing bags’ or any other words which clearly indicate that the householder does not wish to donate through this method.”
Dear Mr Freeman,
Thank you for sending me over both the stills and the video footage of a delivery agent posting a bag through the door, despite signage.
Leukaemia Care bag fundraising is handled by a third party company, East London Textiles (ELT). As part of our contract with ELT, ELT agree that their delivery agents will follow the fundraising code of practice.
As of 9th September 2019, we will no longer be engaging in this form of fundraising and therefore from this date, members of the public should no longer receive plastic bags from Leukaemia Care.
I have copied in Monica Izmajlowicz, who is the COO for the charity and this complaint will also be recorded formally on our records. My next stage will be to talk to the directors of ELT immediately and ask for a written explanation as to why this has happened to you.
I profusely apologise for this happening. Due to the contract coming to an end next week, nobody in your local area should receive any further bags from the company.
Once I have a reply from ELT themselves, I will update you.
Director of Communications and Fundraising
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020
Yet another Charity bag through the letter box.
This time from breastcancerresearchaid.org.uk. I sent my usual complaint to them and below is their emailed response.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Sent: 13 February 2020 20:16
To: Steve Freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Complaint Re Code 16 (10) (t) Fundraising Code of Practice
Dear Mr Freeman
The clothing collection manager informed me that the girl distributor
who delivered you a bag was sacked for negligence. I hope that you will
never receive our charity bags anymore. Yours sincerely. Lawrence
Sadly this does not address the issue of pollution these bags contribute to so I have sent a reply to them pointing this out and suggesting they give up this method of fundraising (I wonder if there is even any truth that the third party they employ to do these collections has even carried out the sacking). I could never donate to a charity that helps cause plastic waste.
The more of us who complain will put pressure on charities to stop this unnecessary method of plastic pollution and potential harm to pets. Do let me know in the comments below if you have ever complained and what result did you get?
Update July 2020.
Sign the petition to stop charity bags. Thanks to a reader Chris he has told me about the petition on the Government website. Click the link to sign the petition…..
Update – petition now closed