Dutch Language Blog

What are these mailbox stickers? Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Culture, Dutch Vocabulary, News

If you go to the Netherlands and you walk through any residential area, you cannot really escape them: The super-obvious NEE-NEE-sticker or the NEE-JA-sticker on people’s brievenbussen (mailboxes). What are these for? Let’s dive in.

Folders, folders, folders…

As we have discussed before, many places in the Netherlands distribute a load of folders (ad brochures) from supermarkets and local stores every single day. They can be useful to find the latest deals. There are also huis aan huisbladen (house-to-house brochures), which tell you what is going on in your neighborhood and report on some recent (local) news.

But maybe you find the deals online, or you simply don’t care. And maybe you find your news online or talk to your neighbors and don’t want to get all this unnecessary paperwork. In that case, these stickers are for you.

Stickers as protection

A NEE-NEE-sticker on a brievenbus (Image by author)

The Dutch overheid (government) provides these stickers, and you can get them at your gemeente (municipality). There are two soorten (kinds):

NEE-NEE-sticker – with this sticker, you will neither receive any ongeadresseerd reclamedrukwerk (unaddressed advertisement printed material) nor huis aan huisbladen.

NEE-JA-sticker – with this sticker, you will not receive any ongeadresseerd reclamedrukwerk, but you will receive huis aan huisbladen.

So you just go to your gemeente or you get them online – at the aptly named neeneeneeja.nl. Of course you can get them from anywhere, since they do not have to have a very exact look, and they are so widespread that everyone knows what they mean.

Zeg ja!

You might think now: These stickers are everywhere, so clearly people do not want this sort of mail – why not just ban it altogether? A recent initiative in Amsterdam did exactly that. And now, instead of having to pay for a sticker to prevent this onaangename (inconvenient) post (mail), you can now get the JA-JA-sticker for free. Once you put that on your brievenbus, you will receive everything. Mostly it is done because 50% of all folders that are delivered are thrown away immediately, and that is just a waste of resources! Click on the picture above to see a video about this!
What do you think about these stickers? Should the measure adopted in Amsterdam be adopted in the entire country? How is it done in your country? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.