Starbucks opens store made from recycled shipping container

Starbucks Recycled Shipping Container Coffee Shop in Tukwila

For the last decade, Starbucks has been trying to reduce their environmental footprint. In 2012, Starbucks opened its first coffee shop made entirely from a recycled shipping container in Tukwila, Washington, just south of Seattle.

Starbucks’ initiative to encourage green building to reduce energy-use has led to them opening 45 green locations nationwide since the Tukwila location.

The inspiration for using a recycled shipping container came from the company’s use of containers to ship coffee and tea all over the world.

Those recycled shipping containers are used roughly 10–15 years before being decommissioned and instead of being left out to rust, Starbucks has decided to repurpose them into beautiful modern coffee shops.

Recycled Shipping Container Coffee Shop from Starbucks

The recycled shipping container coffee shops are about 450 square feet.

That’s almost 1,000 square feet less than freestanding locations.

The smaller locations allow Starbucks to open shops on sites that were previously too small for a traditional location.

The stores are built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, using green energy, water efficiency, and use construction material from recycled content.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and provides a framework to create healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

Some of the sustainability efforts include using reclaimed Wyoming snow fencing, reclaimed Douglas fir from an old grain mill in eastern Washington as well as xeriscaping for the coffee shop’s landscaping.

The container shops are also built off-site which helps reduce construction waste when compared to a traditional build site.

In an interview with, Alan Hilowitz the former Director of Global Corporate Communications for Starbucks said

“Our store designs reflect Starbucks’ core mission as a gathering place for the communities we serve, as well as a commitment to reduce our environmental footprint and use our scale for good.”

Starbucks Recycled Shipping Container Coffee Shop in Colorado

In 2018, Starbucks had its first successful container coffee shop relocation in Colorado.

The shop had become so popular that Starbucks decided to open a traditional shop and move the modular store across town.

One of the advantages of using shipping container coffee shops is that they can be delivered and installed in less time than traditional stores.

The moving process from close to reopen was just 21 days!

Since the opening of its first location in Tukwila, WA, Starbucks has made monumental efforts to go green.

Their modular shipping container coffee shops have helped to reduce energy and streamline sustainability throughout their business.

If you’ve been inspired to move your business into a shipping container and want to know how to do that, go to to get more information.

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