Three Surprising Uses For Recycled Shipping Containers

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In this day and age, recycling can be applied to a number of different industries. Big businesses are looking to recycle just as the typical household does — and recycling isn’t just about paper and plastic products. Many people are now discovering the benefits of recycling steel shipping containers, whether they’re looking to create pop-up shops or even add on to their homes. Steel shipping containers have been in use for many years. But though there are about 17 million steel shipping containers throughout the world, only 6 million of them are currently in use. This means that 11 million used shipping containers could be converted into other products, and used for a variety of different means. With 95% of the world’s cargo moving by ship, steel shipping containers aren’t going anywhere — but those that have been retired shouldn’t just languish in disuse. For one thing, it’s simply wasteful; for another, we simply don’t have the space to leave used storage containers lying around. When a recycled shipping container is used for something else, about 3,500 kilograms of steel are being reused, and those that reused a shipping container are saving on building materials like brick, mortar, and wood. But what can we use shipping containers for, exactly?

1. Pop Up Shops

As previously mentioned above, a used shipping container can be used as the basis for a pop up shop. Storage container modifications, if properly made, can turn a hunk of steel into a pleasing, space-conscious shop wherein customers can easily peruse products. Pop up shops are stores — usually fairly small in size — that “pop up” temporarily. Often they are seasonal, and can move from place to place throughout a region. Of course, this means that pop up shop owners need to be conscious of money and space, as most don’t want to spend a lot on a storefront that’s only going to be vacated or moved after a period of time. A steel shipping container can be turned into a portable shop that can be moved from place to place. It’s a wise investment for a pop up shop owner to make, as it will cost less than many other options. While it may seem strange to imagine a shipping container as a store, many of them are more spacious than you might imagine, and refurbishment leaves them unrecognizable.

2. Concession Stands

Like pop up shops, concession stands are typically expected to be somewhat portable, and for that matter unobtrusive. They need to have enough space to maintain the concessions and perhaps provide a small cooking space for hot foods; but with sports stadiums being packed enough as it is, you don’t want something too large. For that matter, many prefer concession stands that aren’t permanent buildings, as this allows for the maintenance necessary in sports arenas. Portable concession stands can also move from stadium to stadium, depending on where the game is. Concession stands are crucial for sports profits, whether the game is on the high school or professional level. Storage containers allow for a minimal amount of investment, and a maximum payoff.

3. Housing Add-Ons

Recently, recycled shipping containers have become particularly popular among people who want to add space to their homes, especially in more rural areas. Shipping containers can provide the basis for an extra bedroom, or even bedrooms plural. While this requires more renovation than other projects, it certainly isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, and again, storage container modifications can leave steel shipping containers unrecognizable compared to their original states. Another advantage of using steel shipping containers to expand homes is their multi-purpose natures. If you simply want a space for more storage, you don’t even have to modify a shipping container that much; it can be a secure, safe stand-in for a shed or garage, often costing less money.