Challenges

Public policy initiatives to reward those using collaborative consumption

How can we create policy that rewards those who opt for 'service over consume' models?
Lower tax levels on service vs purchase?
Reward systems?

Comments (2)

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How can this be improved?
Maria Chercoles
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  • I really like this idea because it shares the responsibility of a sustainable society with the users. In the US some municipalities have tested moving from a flat fee waste collection model, into one where fees are based on waste produced. As a starting point, people get to choose the size of the trash collection bin they get from 2-3 sizes available. Anything that doesn't fin in the bin is charged extra. When you think about it, if I'm very mindful of my waste, use reusable towels and cloths, buy package-free foods etc.,. I should not have to pay the same waste collection fee as my neighbour who fills 10x more garbage bags every month. I think it's a brilliant model. There have been some setbacks though, regarding how to charge the right amount based on the number of people living in the household. Should the price be per person or per household? This policy also hurts low income families with many kids. Package free foods are usually more expensive and require more work from the user.

    What can go wrong?
    Maria Chercoles
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  • Some of the challenges in adopting collaborative consumption is making sure policies reward positive behavior vs punish (tax) negative behavior. I'm speaking about the US, but these kinds of policies are always turned down because they tend to work against low income households. Higher-income households have more time available to cook, prep meals, repair broken appliances (or pay for the repair). On the other end, some households do not have the time to cook from scratch, buy a lot of pre-made meals on the go, with lots of packaging, and they do a lot more online shopping because they can't go to the physical store.

    As governments and local municipalities start to discuss collaborative consumption, they need to find the right policy balance or the regulations will likely be turned down.