Sharing things is considered to be a more sustainable way of life. However, new research by ING finds that shared products are often quickly disposed, replaced or re-sold. The sharing economy might not be so sustainable after all.
The dark-side to sharing
There are many perks of sharing and sustainability is considered to be a big factor. But is it really?
New ING research suggests the sustainable impact of sharing products at the individual level will be less than anticipated. This is because owners of shared products are likely to throw away or replace them faster.
There are many types of sharing arrangements that differ to each other and the traditional form of sole ownership. Shared single ownership is where one person owns an item and lets others use it, while joint shared ownership involves many people each owning a portion of the item, with all partial owners having access to use it.
In both arrangements, the study finds owners are likely to throw away or replace a shared item earlier than one that is individually owned and used.