Sharing Economy Rebound: The Case of Peer-2-Peer Sharing of Food Waste

Tamar Meshulam, David Font-Vivanco, Vered Blass, Tamar Makov

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The Sharing Economy is commonly assumed to promote sustainable consumption and improve material efficiency through better utilization of existing product stocks. Yet the cost-savings and convenience of using sharing economy platforms can ultimately stimulate additional demand for products and services. As a result, some or even all of the expected environmental benefits attributed to sharing could be negated, a phenomenon known as Rebound Effect. Relying on a unique dataset covering close to 1.1 million exchanges on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P), food sharing platform, we use a combination of Environmentally Extended Input Output analysis (EEIO), geo-spatial network analysis, and econometric modeling to quantify how much of the expected environmental benefits attributed to sharing are negated via rebound effects. We find that over the 3 years examined, sharing edible yet unwanted food with other peers was associated with nearly 1,800 tons of avoided CO2-eq. However, our results suggest that over 80% of these avoided emissions were negated as platform users re-spent the money saved by sharing on other goods and services. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering the potential implications rebound effects might have on the efficacy of leveraging the sharing economy to elevate environmental burdens.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2021
EventPLATE - Product Lifetimes And The Environment: Proceedings 4th PLATE CONFERENCE, Limerick, Ireland, 26–28 May 2021 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 26 May 202128 May 2021
Conference number: 4


ConferencePLATE - Product Lifetimes And The Environment
Abbreviated titlePLATE


  • Sharing Economy
  • consumption
  • environment
  • rebound effect


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