US20100126998A1 - Food and Beverage Container with Integrated Disposable Liner Dispenser - Google Patents

Food and Beverage Container with Integrated Disposable Liner Dispenser Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100126998A1
US20100126998A1 US12/324,052 US32405208A US2010126998A1 US 20100126998 A1 US20100126998 A1 US 20100126998A1 US 32405208 A US32405208 A US 32405208A US 2010126998 A1 US2010126998 A1 US 2010126998A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
container
apparatus
compartment
disposable
liner
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Abandoned
Application number
US12/324,052
Inventor
Corey Wilson
Jeff Feliciano
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Corey Wilson
Jeff Feliciano
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Priority to US12/324,052 priority Critical patent/US20100126998A1/en
Publication of US20100126998A1 publication Critical patent/US20100126998A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D25/00Details of other kinds or types of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D25/14Linings or internal coatings
    • B65D25/16Loose, or loosely-attached, linings
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D51/00Closures not otherwise provided for
    • B65D51/24Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes
    • B65D51/28Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes with auxiliary containers for additional articles or materials
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D83/00Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents
    • B65D83/08Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents for dispensing thin flat articles in succession
    • B65D83/0805Containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents for dispensing thin flat articles in succession through an aperture in a wall

Abstract

A food and beverage container is disclosed that includes a compartment attached to its base that is filled with disposable liners. In various embodiments the container is a storage bin, glass, mug, baby bottle, or bowl. Liners can be configured in a continuous roll with perforations, or folded in an interleaved stack. Liners are pulled into the container through an opening in the container base, and can be held in place by a retaining ring pressed over the container rim. Removing a used liner causes a fresh liner to be pulled into the container from the compartment. A lid can be included, possibly with a drinking or pouring spout through which the end of a disposable liner can be extended, and to which a retaining ring and/or a spout cover can be fitted for transportation, shaking, etc, thereby preventing added ingredients such as powders from adhering to the container.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention generally relates to food and beverage containers, and more specifically to apparatus for lining food and beverage containers with disposable liners.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Foods and beverages are often stored in and consumed from reusable containers. For example, storage bins with air tight lids are often to store bulk ingredients such as flour and sugar, as well as leftovers from partially consumed meals, and serving containers such as bowls, mugs, glasses, and such like are often used for consuming foods and beverages. After each use, such reusable containers must typically be washed and dried, which is time consuming and inconvenient. For example, a consumer may be traveling in a car or be otherwise not at home or not close to a washing location when a food or beverage is consumed, thereby requiring that the serving container be brought to a washing location before it can be washed and dried. If more than one use of a container is desired, and washing facilities are not readily available, it may become necessary to re-use the container without washing it first. And if use of the container by more than one person is desired, hygienic concerns can arise.
  • It is sometimes desirable to mix a powder or other ingredients with a liquid beverage before consumption. Often, a beverage container may include a closable lid that can seal the container and allow the contents of the container to be shaken so as to better mix such ingredients with a beverage. Nevertheless, such ingredients sometimes fail to dissolve completely, and can leave solid deposits on the walls of a container that can be difficult to remove during cleaning.
  • One approach is to use disposable containers, thereby avoiding the need for washing and drying after use. However, using disposable containers can be costly and wasteful of storage space, and can also place a burden on the capacity of available trash receptacles. Disposable containers are also typically limited in their features. For example, once opened, disposable containers often cannot be resealed as tightly as non-disposable containers. Also, while lids are sometimes available for disposable containers, the lids for disposable containers typically do not seal as tightly as lids that attach to reusable containers. Such disposable lids can become detached if the container is squeezed, shaken, or dropped, causing a food or beverage contained therein to be spilled. And if a drinking spout is desired, for example to facilitate drinking of coffee, water, or a soda while driving, spouts included in disposable container lids are typically of a primitive nature and do not provide the full convenience, comfort, and other benefits of drinking spouts that are typically included in reusable container lids.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An apparatus for storing and/or consuming a food and/or a beverage is claimed. The apparatus includes a container and a compartment attachable to the bottom of the container that can be filled with a supply of disposable container liners. The compartment is configured so as to allow disposable liners to be pulled into the container through an opening provided in the base of the container. In preferred embodiments, both the container and the compartment are threaded, so as to allow the compartment to be attached to the bottom of the container by engagement of complementary threads between the compartment and the container. In other preferred embodiments the compartment can be attached to the bottom of the container by engaging a protrusion on one of the compartment and the container with an indentation in the other of the compartment and the container.
  • Some preferred embodiments include a supply of disposable liners that can be provided in the compartment as a roll on a spindle or in a folded stack. They can be attached to one another in a continuous length and can include perforations that facilitate detaching and disposal of liners after use, or they can be separate and interleaved in a manner that causes an unused liner to be drawn at least partly into the container each time a used liner is removed for disposal.
  • So as to use the apparatus, a disposable liner is pulled from the compartment, through the opening, and into the container, and is opened so as to line the container. In preferred embodiments, the top of the disposable liner is folded over the rim of the container, and a liner retaining ring is pressed over the rim so as to clamp the top of the disposable liner in place about the rim. The lined container is then filled with a desired food or beverage for storage and/or or consumption. After use, the used liner is removed through the mouth of the container, thereby causing a fresh, unused liner to be drawn into the container. The used liner is then separated from the fresh liner and disposed of.
  • In preferred embodiments, a lid is included. In some of these embodiments the lid includes a drinking spout. In some of these embodiments the lid is attached to the rim of the container, and the end of a disposable liner is pulled out through the spout. The end of the liner can then be folded to one side and a spout cover can be fitted against the spout so as to seal the top of the disposable liner and securely contain a beverage within the container during storage, transportation, shaking, and such like. In particular, if a powder or other additive ingredient is included with the beverage, the container and lid with closed spout can be shaken so as to enhance mixing of the added ingredients with the beverage before the beverage is consumed. In this configuration, the disposable liner prevents contact between the beverage and any part of the apparatus. When the beverage is ready for consumption, the end of the disposable liner can be opened and folded over the rim of the spout, and a spout regaining ring can be pressed over the rim of the spout so as to clamp the end of the disposable liner in place surrounding the spout.
  • Other preferred embodiments include a food storage bin, an open glass or mug, a baby bottle, and a bowl for soup, cereal, ice cream, and such like.
  • One general aspect of the present invention is an apparatus for storing and consuming at least one of a food and a beverage. The apparatus includes a container with a bottom and a rim, the bottom including an opening, and a compartment removably attachable to the bottom, the compartment being able to contain disposable liners, the disposable liners being pullable into the container through the opening so as to form a lined container.
  • In preferred embodiments the compartment includes a spindle that is able to retain a roll of disposable liners. Some embodiment further include a liner retaining ring that is able to fit securely against the rim of the container so as to hold an open end of a disposable liner in place about the rim of the container.
  • Certain preferred embodiments include a supply of disposable liners. In some of these embodiments the disposable liners are configured in a roll. In other of these embodiments the disposable liners are configured in a folded stack. In certain of these embodiments the disposable liners are configured in a continuous length. And in some of these embodiments the continuous length of disposable liners includes perforations that facilitate separation of individual liners from the continuous length. In still other of these embodiments the disposable liners are interleaved so as to cause a fresh liner to be drawn from the supply when a used liner is removed.
  • In some preferred embodiments, the compartment is removably attachable to the bottom of the container by engagement of complimentary threads of the compartment and the container. In other preferred embodiments the compartment is removably attachable to the bottom of the container by engagement of a protrusion in one of the compartment and the container with a compatible indentation in the other of the compartment and the container.
  • In preferred embodiments the apparatus further includes a lid that is able to attach to the rim of the lined container and make a leak-resistant seal therewith. In some of these embodiments the leak-resistant seal is sufficient to allow the container to be shaken without allowing contents contained within the lined container to leak between the lid and the rim. In certain of these embodiments the lid includes a drinking spout. Various of these embodiments further include a spout cover that is able to cover the drinking spout and make a leak-resistant seal therewith. Still other of these embodiments include a spout retaining ring that is able to fit securely around a rim of the spout so as to hold an open end of a liner that has been pulled through the spout in place about the rim of the spout. And in various embodiments that include a lid that is able to attach to the rim of the lined container and make a leak-resistant seal therewith, the lid can sealably receive a baby bottle nipple.
  • Another general aspect of the present invention is a method for storing a consumable item, the consumable item being at least one of a food and a beverage. The method includes the following steps:
  • providing an apparatus that includes a container with a bottom and a rim, the bottom including an opening, and a compartment removably attachable to the bottom of the container, the compartment being able to contain disposable liners, the disposable liners being pullable into the container through the opening so as to form a lined container;
  • locating a supply of disposable liners in the compartment, the disposable liners being configured so as to cause a fresh liner to be drawn from the supply when a used liner is pulled away from the supply;
  • pulling a disposable liner from the compartment, through the opening, and into the container;
  • lining the container with the disposable liner; and
  • filling the lined container with the consumable item.
  • In some preferred embodiments of this method the apparatus further includes a lid that is able to make a leak-resistant seal with the rim of the container, and the method further includes using the lid to make a leak-resistant seal with the rim of the container and shaking the container so as to mix ingredients included in the consumable item.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the detailed description, in conjunction with the following figures, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing of a compartment of the present invention holding a continuous roll of disposable liners;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective drawing of the compartment of FIG. 1 shown in relationship with a compatible container and a liner retaining ring;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective drawing of the compartment and container of FIG. 2, showing a disposable liner threaded through the hole in the bottom of the container;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective drawing of an assembled compartment and container, showing the disposable liner lining the container and folded over the rim of the container;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective drawing of the assembled container and compartment of FIG. 4, showing a lid installed on the container, the lid including a closable drinking spout and the disposable liner being drawn through the spout;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view from above of the container of FIG. 5, showing the top of the disposable liner being folded back over the rim of the drinking spout and held in place by a spout retaining ring;
  • FIG. 7 is a side view of an assembled container in a preferred embodiment in which the container is a baby bottle;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view from the side of the assembled compartment and container of FIG. 4, showing a used disposable liner having been pulled out of the container through the open mouth of the container, and a fresh disposable liner having been drawn thereby into the container, the used disposable liner being partly separated from the fresh liner at a perforation therebetween; and
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an assembled container in a preferred embodiment in which the container is a bowl that can be used to contain a food that is at least partially liquid, such as soup, cereal, chili, and such like.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention is an apparatus for storing and/or consuming a food and/or a beverage. The apparatus includes a reusable container and a compartment that can be filled with a supply of disposable liners for lining the container. In preferred embodiments, a supply of disposable liners is included. FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a compartment 100 of a preferred embodiment in which the compartment includes female threads 102 that enable attachment of the compartment 100 to a container (200 of FIG. 2) with compatible male threads. A roll of disposable liners 104 is mounted on a spindle (not shown) within the compartment 100 so as to allow pulling of individual liners 106 into the container 200.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective drawing of the compartment 100 of FIG. 1 shown in relationship with a compatible container 200 of the present invention. The container 200 includes male threads 202 at the bottom of the container 200 that can be engaged with the female threads 102 of the compartment so as to attach the compartment 100 to the container 200. A hole 204 is provided in the bottom of the container 200 so as to allow disposable liners 106 to be pulled from the compartment 100 into the container 200 and thereby line the container 200. After a food or beverage has been consumed, the used disposable liner 106 can then be removed through the rim 206 of the container 200. Preferred embodiments include a liner retaining ring 208 that can be pressed over the rim 206 of the container so as to hold the open end of a disposable liner 106 in place about the rim of the container 200.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective drawing of the compartment 100 and container 200 of FIG. 2, showing a disposable liner 106 having been pulled from the roll 104, through the hole 204 and into the container 200. The disposable liners 106 in this embodiment are formed in a continuous length and wound into a roll 104 that is mounted on a spindle (not shown) inside of the compartment 100. Each disposable liner 106 is sealed at one end 300, and the liners 106 are divided by perforations 302 that facilitate separation of a used liner 106 from the continuous length for disposal.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention configured in preparation for filling with a beverage. The compartment 100 and container 200 are assembled, the container 100 has been lined with a disposable liner 106, and the open end of the disposable liner 106 has been folded over the rim 206 of the container 100. A liner retaining ring 208 has been pressed over the rim 206 of the container 200 so as to hold the open top of the disposable liner 106 in place about the rim 206 of the container 200. In this configuration, the container 200 can be filled with a beverage and the beverage can be consumed without the beverage or the mouth of someone drinking the beverage making contact with any portion of the container. The liner 106 can afterward be disposed of, leaving the container 200 clean and ready for reuse.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment similar to the embodiment of FIG. 4, but including a lid 500 that can be attached to the rim 206 of the container 200 so as to make a seal that will not come loose even if the container 200 is shaken. The lid 500 includes a drinking spout 502 that facilitates drinking without spilling while a user is walking, driving, and such like. The end of a disposable liner 106 is shown protruding from the rim of the drinking spout 502. The end of the disposable liner 106 can be folded over to one side and held in place by a closable spout cover 504 that is attached to the lid 500, thereby sealing the end of the disposable liner and preventing leakage when the container is being shaken or is otherwise filled but not in use.
  • The drinking spout 502 in the embodiment of FIG. 5 is located off center on the lid 500, so as to facilitate drinking of a beverage through the spout. In similar embodiments, the drinking spout 502 is located substantially in the center of the lid 500, so as to allow a protruding end of a disposable liner 106 to remain in a fixed location while the lid 500 is rotated and attached to the rim 206 of the container by engaging threads between the lid 500 and the container rim 206.
  • Embodiments similar to the embodiment of FIG. 5 are used for storage of food. For example, a similar container can be used for storing and dispensing sugar. A container with a simple, air-tight lid can be used to store bulk flour or leftovers from a partially consumed meal. Note that, in general, embodiments of the present invention are not limited to containers with a round cross-sectional shape. Food and beverage storage embodiments of the present invention, in particular, include shapes that are substantially rectangular in shape and thereby provide for more efficient use of storage space.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective top view of the embodiment of FIG. 5, showing the open end of the disposable liner 106 folded over the rim of the drinking spout 502 in preparation for drinking from the spout 502. A spout retaining ring 600 has been pressed onto the rim of the drinking spout 502 so as to hold the open end of the disposable liner 106 in place about the rim of the drinking spout 502 while the beverage is consumed. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the spout retaining ring 600 is similar in configuration to the spout cover 504, except that there is a hole in the center of the spout retaining ring 600 through which a beverage can be drunk or poured. Similar embodiments include a spout retaining ring 600 that is in the form of a ring that surrounds only the outside of the drinking spout rim 502. In other embodiments the open end of the disposable liner 106 is held in place by the fingers of a user holding the container 200.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention that is configured as a baby bottle. The compartment 100 and container 200 are similar to the embodiment of FIG. 2. A disposable lining 106 is pulled from the compartment 100 into the container 200 and the open top of the lining 106 is folded over the rim 106 of the container 200. After the container 200 is filled with milk, a cap 700 that is fitted with a baby bottle nipple is snapped over the rim 206. In this embodiment, the rim 206 includes a protrusion (not shown) that fits into an indentation (not shown) in the rim of the cap 700.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention configured immediately after use. The used disposable liner 106A has been pulled out of the container through the open rim 206, thereby pulling a fresh disposable liner 106B out of the compartment 100, through a slot 204, and into the interior of the container 200. The used liner 106A has been partially detached from the fresh liner 106B by tearing along the perforation 302 that divides them. After detaching the used disposable liner 106A, it can be disposed of, and the fresh liner 106A can be opened so as to line the interior of the container 200, thereby preparing the apparatus for another usage.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention that is configured for use as a bowl, for example to contain soup, cereal, chili, and such like. The configuration is similar to the configuration of FIG. 4, except that the container 200 is shorter and wider than the container of FIG. 4 and has an interior that is curved into a bowl shape. The compartment 100 is correspondingly wider, and the supply of disposable liners 106 included in the compartment 100 is configured as a folded, interleaved stack (not shown) similar to the configuration of disposable tissues in a tissue box.
  • Other modifications and implementations will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as claimed. Accordingly, the above description is not intended to limit the invention except as indicated in the following claims.

Claims (19)

1. An apparatus for storing and consuming at least one of a food and a beverage, the apparatus comprising:
a container with a bottom and a rim, the bottom including an opening; and
a compartment removably attachable to the bottom, the compartment being able to contain disposable liners, the disposable liners being pullable into the container through the opening so as to form a lined container.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compartment includes a spindle that is able to retain a roll of disposable liners.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a liner retaining ring that is able to fit securely against the rim of the container so as to hold an open end of a disposable liner in place about the rim of the container.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a supply of disposable liners.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the disposable liners are configured in a roll.
6. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the disposable liners are configured in a folded stack.
7. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the disposable liners are configured in a continuous length.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the continuous length of disposable liners includes perforations that facilitate separation of individual liners from the continuous length.
9. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the disposable liners are interleaved so as to cause a fresh liner to be drawn from the supply when a used liner is removed.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compartment is removably attachable to the bottom of the container by engagement of complimentary threads of the compartment and the container.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compartment is removably attachable to the bottom of the container by engagement of a protrusion in one of the compartment and the container with a compatible indentation in the other of the compartment and the container.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a lid that is able to attach to the rim of the lined container and make a leak-resistant seal therewith.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the leak-resistant seal is sufficient to allow the container to be shaken without allowing contents contained within the lined container to leak between the lid and the rim.
14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the lid includes a drinking spout.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising:
a spout cover that is able to cover the drinking spout and make a leak-resistant seal therewith.
16. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising:
a spout retaining ring that is able to fit securely around a rim of the spout so as to hold an open end of a liner that has been pulled through the spout in place about the rim of the spout.
17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the lid can sealably receive a baby bottle nipple.
18. A method for storing a consumable item, the consumable item being at least one of a food and a beverage, the method comprising:
providing an apparatus that includes a container with a bottom and a rim, the bottom including an opening, and a compartment removably attachable to the bottom of the container, the compartment being able to contain disposable liners, the disposable liners being pullable into the container through the opening so as to form a lined container;
locating a supply of disposable liners in the compartment, the disposable liners being configured so as to cause a fresh liner to be drawn from the supply when a used liner is pulled away from the supply;
pulling a disposable liner from the compartment, through the opening, and into the container;
lining the container with the disposable liner; and
filling the lined container with the consumable item.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the apparatus further includes a lid that is able to make a leak-resistant seal with the rim of the container, the method further comprising:
using the lid to make a leak-resistant seal with the rim of the container; and
shaking the container so as to mix ingredients included in the consumable item.
US12/324,052 2008-11-26 2008-11-26 Food and Beverage Container with Integrated Disposable Liner Dispenser Abandoned US20100126998A1 (en)

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US20110084089A1 (en) * 2009-10-09 2011-04-14 Maccario Susan C Combination dispensing and disposal container
WO2019032630A1 (en) * 2017-08-09 2019-02-14 Chad Fisher Squeezable container and dispenser assembly and method of use
US10556724B2 (en) 2016-09-15 2020-02-11 Giveler LLC Container

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