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A new type of metal container could reduce the number of cartons sent to landfills.

logoAvery Packaging LLC is working to interest produce companies in packing product in the boxes which are fortified with galvanized steel frames.

Produce can be shipped in the patented Reusable Transport Package multiple times, saving shippers money over alternative containers, said Don Avery, founder of the Bonita Springs, Fla.-based company.

Tests conducted at an independent packaging laboratory showed the container can persist through more than 50 uses and is 20% the cost of corrugated options, Avery said.

The container’s steel frame supports polyester mesh, nylon, plastic or other material that suspends product and helps prevent damage during shipment, he said.

Because metal isn’t porous, mold or mildew can’t grow and the container’s re-usability is one of its attributes, he said.

“In the packaging industry, recycled material is a big benefit,” Avery said. “More and more, I saw the waste with the corrugated box, so many being thrown away and crowding landfills. I looked at plastic, aluminum, stainless steel and through galvanized steel would be the best effort.”

The containers can be custom designed to replace any current box and can be as large as pallet and half-pallet, he said.

The box’s weight is comparable to corrugated and plastic containers, Avery said.

Avery is a mechanical engineer who worked in the consumer goods and food packaging industries since the 1960s.

Last year, he relocated his business from the Chesterfield, Mo., to Florida to focus business pitches to Florida grower-shippers, he said.