Hundreds of thousands of shipping containers are deemed no longer safe to continue to be used for transporting goods every year. These numbers have been adding up, with possibly tens of millions sitting unused in ports, storage yards and other container graveyards around the world. Sometimes a container may only be used a few times before it is discarded in favour of a brand-new model.
Over time, these containers start to rust and become unsightly to whoever has the displeasure of living nearby. They are known to decrease the property value of the area around them, and they also become a pollution hazard.
Unlike items like cans or bottles, shipping containers can not be broken down and remade into other products. But they can, however, be upcycled into an assortment of usable structures, and are becoming popular with people looking for a way to help the environment and save money in the process.
How Can Containers Be Upcycled?
Shipping containers can be upcycled and used for many different purposes such as:
- Pop-up bars, cafes or shops
- Temporary housing
- Permanent ‘tiny’ homes
- Exhibition or display spaces
- Storage spaces
- Portable pools
All of these projects give a new life to something that would otherwise be waste, with so many ideas that can be developed. You can make modifications to create the space that you want, with doors, windows, plumbing and electricity installed as necessary.
How Upcycling Can Help our Environment
Choosing a shipping container instead of wood or other materials for your project means that you will be putting less strain on our natural resources, and houses can be made sustainable with solar power and composting toilet systems – which are also great solutions for our environment.
Additionally, containers are a great choice if you want to have a steel structure but know how expensive new steel can be. Steel can only be obtained from mining processes, which reduces local biodiversity as well as wastes water unnecessarily.
Benefits of Container Upcycling
Modifying a shipping container into the space that you want may seem a little daunting, but there are other advantages to consider besides helping the environment.
- Purchasing a used shipping container is surprisingly cheaper than you may think, and they cost less than other traditional building materials.
- As they are made to withstand the elements while at sea, the construction is sturdy and weatherproof. If the container was put out of use due to damage or wear and tear, you can make your own repairs and modifications to get it back in shape.
Choose a Shipping Container for Your Next Building Project
Shipping containers are a great alternative to using traditional building materials for your next building project. Not only are they kinder on your pocket, but you’ll also be reducing the number of containers taking up our valuable land space, reducing risk of pollution and also putting less strain on our natural resources.