Brits show growing appetite for sharing economy

The sharing economy - in which goods and services are based on collaborative consumption - is now valued at £330bn globally and £22.4bn in the UK, according to new research.

The study conducted by Opinium on behalf of community movement group The People who Share demonstrates growing consumer appetite for more sustainable models of consumption through exchange and leasing mechanisms.

Businesses such as airbnb, Zipcar, LoveHomeSwap, ParkatmyHouse and Ecomodo are now firmly in this space. Zipcar, the UK’s largest pay-as-you-drive car club, has been observing its growth for the past 12 years, according to general manager Mark Walker.

“The pay-as-you-live generation is here to stay,” he said. “Car clubs lead to a reduction of cars on the road, and fewer miles driven. Sharing resources, be it cars, office space or even clothes just makes sense.”

According to the research, 33 million Brits (65%) are already sharing, and a further 14 million (28%) would consider it. It is estimated that UK consumers currently participating in the sharing economy benefit from £4.6bn savings and earnings.

According to this research, those that share, can benefit up to £400 per year per person, with some benefiting as much as £5,000 per year,” said Benita Matofska, CEO of The People who Share.

Food waste reduction could most benefit from this trend as food is one of the UK’s most favourite sharing activities – with 29% of the population saying they currently do this.

Last year 10 million meals were delivered to people living in food poverty from food that was diverted away from landfill.

The Trussell Trust has seen a 170% increase in the number of people given food boxes over the past year and a 76% increase in the number of food banks set up.

Maxine Perella

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