Bringing a Sharing Economy Approach into the Food Sector: The Potential of Food Sharing for Reducing Food Waste



According to the UN estimates, world population will increase to over 8 billion by 2030. Increasing demand for food and raw materials will place additional pressure on limited natural resources. In this context, the current levels of food waste in advanced economies are no longer economically, socially and environmentally sustainable over the long term. Structural changes will be needed along the whole supply chain as well as in consumers’ attitudes and behaviours. The sharing economy is actually playing an important role in trying to achieve more sustainable patterns, also within the food sector. In particular, several initiatives and start-ups are being developed in the US and Europe, involving the collection and use of the excess of food from consumers and retailers and the promotion of collaborative consumption models. However, the correlation between food sharing practices and reduced food waste cannot be taken for granted. This chapter identified the literacy contours of this relationship, highlighting how food sharing is frequently undermined by social factors and that to make it effective specific skills are needed. Moreover, a major effort towards general routines and practices, which underpin individual-level behavior, is required to tackle food waste in a more effective manner.


Sharing economy Sustainable consumption Food waste Food sharing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BiT Bioeconomy in Transition Research GroupUnitelma-Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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