US20120224791A1 - Flat foldable, amusement providing, ecofriendly waste containers - Google Patents

Flat foldable, amusement providing, ecofriendly waste containers Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120224791A1
US20120224791A1 US13409934 US201213409934A US2012224791A1 US 20120224791 A1 US20120224791 A1 US 20120224791A1 US 13409934 US13409934 US 13409934 US 201213409934 A US201213409934 A US 201213409934A US 2012224791 A1 US2012224791 A1 US 2012224791A1
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Prior art keywords
waste
container
product
package
wall
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US13409934
Inventor
Itai Achiaz
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Itai Achiaz
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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
    • B65D31/00Bags or like containers made of paper and having structural provision for thickness of contents
    • B65D31/12Bags or like containers made of paper and having structural provision for thickness of contents with two or more compartments
    • 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
    • B65D2209/00Provisions for used articles

Abstract

Packaging for a retail food product that contains a waste component, such as shells, includes a main product package including a hollow interior space for receiving the food product. The main product package includes a first face. The packaging includes a waste container that has a body with a number of defined fold lines to permit the waste container to move between an initial folded storage position and an unfolded position in which the waste container forms a receptacle defined by at least one side wall and a bottom wall that define a hollow interior space for receiving the waste component of the food product after consumption thereof. The waste container extends outwardly from the first face thereof and can be either integrally formed with or be attached to the main product package.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of priority, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/447,928, filed Mar. 1, 2011, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to a waste containers and more particularly to environmentally friendly, flat-foldable, amusement providing waste containers to be adhered to waste-producing product packages.
  • [0003]
    The background information discussed below is presented to better illustrate the novelty and usefulness of the present invention. This background information is not admitted prior art. The particular versions of the invention as described below are provided, in part, as illustrative and exemplary, thus, the described versions should not be taken as limiting.
  • [0004]
    People enjoy eating snack type foods at many different times and in many different places. For example, people like to snack while watching events such as a baseball, basketball, football and soccer games, horse and automobile racing, while watching movies or television, while driving or riding in a vehicle, or when relaxing. Many snack foods have an edible portion and an inedible portion that typically encloses the edible portion. Examples of such food products include various nuts, seeds and fruits, including peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, olives and cherries. Such snack foods are routinely packaged in the containers from which the snacks are eaten, however, while the edible portion is consumed, the inedible portion becomes a waste product and must be disposed of. As well known to those familiar with these food products, the waste portion can result in a significant amount of debris which must be disposed of by the consumer.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0005]
    The present inventor observed that food products having a waste component are usually sold in closed packages that are usually designed to keep the food product dry and fresh, thus the package is typically a plastic or plasticized pouch.
  • [0006]
    This type of package is designed for storing and serving its contents. However, once the edible portion is consumed, there is no provision for the waste portion. One certainly does not want to dispose of the waste product in the same container that holds the food product, especially if the food product is being shared with others. Thus, the consumer has no choice but to place the waste portion in a pocket, if a pocket capable of receiving and storing such waste is available, or tossing the waste portion on the ground creating a mess that eventually must be cleaned up and, in the meantime, a tripping hazard.
  • [0007]
    Accordingly, the present Inventor devised a waste container designed to be attached to product packages. The waste containers according to the concept of the present invention can be attached to snack food containers that are otherwise ready for sale or they can be adhered to such product containers during the manufacturing process (e.g., adhesively attached, bonded, etc.). The waste containers according to the concept of the present invention may be attached to snack food containers that are otherwise ready for sale or they can be adhered to such product containers during the manufacturing process. In either case the waste container is presented to be attached to product containers in a flat-folded configuration. At the time the food product is to be consumed and the product waste created, the folded-flat waste container is opened to provide a volume to receive the waste product.
  • [0008]
    The present inventor also provided for the waste container to be ecofriendly, in that it is contemplated to be made of recyclable paper that is eco-friendly to make and use, light-weight, sturdy, inexpensive, and easy to handle.
  • [0009]
    The recyclable waste container may be attached to the product package in a permanent manner or may be adhered to the product package with an adhesive that allows easy separation of the waste container from the product package providing for the waste container and the inedible waste to be disposed of in a recycle container. Alternatively, the waste container is made of compostable material so that the inedible waste and the waste container may be put directly into a compost bin.
  • [0010]
    To encourage use of the waste container as a repository for the waste product the waste container is configured to provide a game aspect or to be designed to relate to a place of use, to special time of year, or to any desired theme. The design also contemplates use of the waste container as an advertising mechanism. There is space on the container, in both its folded and unfolded configuration for advertising. The waste container may be printed to match the product packaging so that while the container remains folded, it blends in with the wording and images on the product package. When open the container may take on any shape that lends itself to the occasion.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    In order that these and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention may be more fully comprehended, the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures, and in which:
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a waste container according to one embodiment of the present invention in an initial folded state and integrally formed as part of a product package;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 1 in a partially unfolded;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the waste container in the completely unfolded position;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the waster container of FIG. 1 in an unfolded position and further including a reinforcing element thereof in an upright position prior to insertion in a main body of the waste container to provide support thereof and maintain a shape thereof;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 4 with the reinforcing element in a fully deployed position between the walls of the waste container;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a waste container according to another embodiment of the present invention in which the waste container is separate from the product package and is shown in an initial folded position attached along one face of the product package;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 6 in a partially unfolded state for use with a reinforcing element thereof in an upright position prior to insertion in a main body of the waste container to provide support thereof and maintain a shape thereof;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 7 with the reinforcing element in a fully deployed position and the produce being open and titled to release product to the user, the reinforcing element acting as a barrier against spill;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 9 shows a first means, in the form of an adhesive tab, for attaching a separate waste container to one face of the product package;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 10 shows a pocket in the product packaging for storing a separate folded waste container therein;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 11 shows a second means, in the form of a tab, for attaching the waste to the product package by inserting the tab into a locking slot or pocket formed in the product package;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a waste container according to another embodiment of the present invention in which the waste container, shown in an unfolded state, that is separate from the product package and includes a structural rim and reinforcing element;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 13 is perspective of a waster container according to another embodiment in which the waste container, shown in a folded state, is contained in a protective holder that can be attached to the product package;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 14 is front perspective view of a waster container having a folded bottom wall attached to a product package;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of the waste container with a removable cap thereon shown in an open position;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 16 is a front perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 15 with the removable cap in the closed position;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 17 is a front perspective view of a waste container of another embodiment shown in a folded position; and
  • [0029]
    FIG. 18 is a front perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 17 in an open position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS Definitions
  • [0030]
    Adhesive or glue, as used herein, refers to any formulation that adheres or bonds items together. Adhesives are advantageous for joining thin or dissimilar materials and minimizing weight. There are many types of adhesives. One type, that may be particularly beneficial when used in the context of the present invention, is from the group of pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA). PSAs are designed for both permanent and removable applications. Removable adhesives are designed to form a temporary bond, and ideally can be removed after months or years without leaving residue on the adhere end. Some removable adhesives are designed to repeatedly stick and unstick.
  • [0031]
    Attachment means, as used herein, refers to any method of attachment, such as gluing, adhering, sewing, or stapling that will keep a waste container adhered to a product package.
  • [0032]
    Origami, as used herein refers to the traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding. Origami started in the 17th century AD and was popularized in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of material into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami. Traditional Japanese origami, which has been practiced since the Edo era (1603-1867), is often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes cutting the paper or using non-square starting paper When finished the sculpture must be able to be folded flat regardless of the variety of simple and intricate shapes it may take when opened. The number of basic origami folds is small, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs.
  • [0033]
    Package, as used herein refers to any type, material, shape, or size of container that is meant to hold a product that has a waste component.
  • [0034]
    Product, as used herein refers to any type of product that has a waste component and especially includes food products, such as nuts and the like that have a waste component in the form of shells; however, it can also include fruit products that have waste components in the form of fruit skins.
  • [0035]
    To provide a better understanding of the inventive concept the following drawings present various examples of embodiments of the present invention. It should be noted that the disclosed invention is disposed to many more versions than illustrated and can be made in various sizes, such as lengths, widths, and depths to accommodate a variety of sizes and amounts of waste product. Additionally, the game aspect of the invention lends itself to a multitude of themes and shapes. The materials used may vary as desired as long as they follow the inventive concepts. Therefore, the versions described herein are provided with the understanding that the present disclosure is intended as illustrative and is not intended to limit the invention to the versions described.
  • [0036]
    FIGS. 1-3 show a waste container 100 according to a first embodiment of the present invention integrally attached to a product package 150. In this embodiment, the waste container 100 is not a separate component (accessory) that is attached to one face of the product package by the user but instead, the waste container 100 is an integral part of the product package 150 itself. As a result, when a consumer purchases the product package 150, the waste container 100 is already a part thereof and the consumer merely needs to unfold the waste container 100 as discussed below in order to place the waste container 100 in a position in which it can be readily used to collect the waste component of the product contained in the product package 150.
  • [0037]
    The waste container 100 is folded along fold lines 110 to form a compact folded structure that once released from the product package 150 can easily be folded outwardly therefrom so as to form an enclosed receptacle (waste container). The waste container 100 can be formed to have any number of different shapes, including square, rectangular, circular, etc. In the illustrated embodiment, the waste container 100 has a square or rectangular shape and is defined by a freely foldable bottom wall 112 (floor) and a plurality of side walls 114 that are attached to the bottom wall 112 and extend upwardly therefrom. As shown, the side walls 114 can have a more rigid structure compared to the bottom walls 112 since the side walls 114 can fold about vertical fold lines, whereas the bottom wall 112 can be compressible and fold in an accordion like manner or is otherwise foldable.
  • [0038]
    For example and as shown in FIG. 14, the bottom wall 112 can include one or more fold lines about which the bottom wall 112 folds (and thus the bottom wall 112 and side walls 114 can be formed of the same materials (e.g., paper product)). Thus, the entire waste container 100 can fold similar to Origami to the collapsed, folded state.
  • [0039]
    It will be appreciated that the waste containers described herein can be formed of any number of different material including materials that are different from the materials used to form the product package 150. For example, the waste container 100 can be formed of paper materials (and thus be more easily biodegradable) or the waste container 100 can be formed of plastic materials (films) similar to how the product package 150 is formed.
  • [0040]
    The top of the waste container 100 is open so as to permit the user to insert the waste components, such as shells, into the enclosed interior 115 of the waste container 100. The fold lines defined between the side walls 114 and bottom wall 112 permit the entire waste container 100 to be folded in a compact manner to allow it initially to be provided to the consumer in a completely folded state (FIG. 1) in which it lies flush against the front face 152 of the product package 150. The number of side walls 114 can be one as in a circular or arcuate shaped side wall.
  • [0041]
    It will be appreciated that most times, the product package 150 includes some type of indicia, such as product name and labeling, on the faces of the product package 150. In accordance with the present invention, the integral waste container 100 is constructed such that it does not adversely impact the readability of the indicia when it is at least in the folded state prior to consumer purchase. More specifically, FIG. 12 shows the product package 150 as including a front face 152 that is intended to face the consumer at a point of purchase. The front face 152 includes indicia 155 disposed along the front face 152. The indicia 155 includes a first section 156, a second section 157, and a third section 158. The first, second and third sections 156, 157, 158 are continuous and adjacent to one another and form the overall indicia 155. In accordance with the present invention, a waste container 101 is folded such that an outer face defined by one side wall 114 in the completely folded position includes the second indicia section 157. The result is that the indicia 155 is seamless and complete. In other words, the presence of the waster container 101 on the front face 152 does not detract from the indicia 155, such as advertising on the package product 150 and instead is designed to blend into the advertising design.
  • [0042]
    As shown in FIGS. 4-5, the top of the waste container 100 can include a reinforcing or spacer element 160 that is movable (pivotable) relative to the side walls 114 of the waste container 100. For example, the reinforcing element 160 can be pivotally coupled to one side wall 114 (i.e., at one end of the waste container 100). As shown in FIGS. 4-5, the reinforcing element 160 is intended to be pivoted downwardly and inserted at least partially into the hollow interior 115 of the waste container 100. The side walls 114 and bottom wall 112 are freely flexible and collapsible and thus the waste container 100 does not naturally assume and hold the square receptacle shape. The reinforcing element 160 assists in maintaining the shape of the waste container 100 by placing the reinforcing element 160 between the side walls 114 of the waste container 100 such that the reinforcing element 160 assumes a generally perpendicular orientation relative to the side walls 114 (and thus acts as a spacer to keep the waste container 100 open). As a result and as shown, the reinforcing element 160, in this position, partially closes off the open top of the waste container 100. The reinforcing element 160 is thus sized and shaped to be received within the waste container 100 between one rear wall (i.e., against the front face 152 of the product package 150) and one front wall 114 of the waste container 100.
  • [0043]
    The reinforcing element 160 can be formed (but is not required to be) of a material that is different from the material that forms the foldable walls of the waste container 100. In particular, the reinforcing element 160 can be formed of a stiffer material, such as a paper product (i.e., cardboard, heavy paper stock, etc.). However, the reinforcing element 160 and walls 112, 114 can be formed of the same material. The reinforcing element 160 provides a means for reinforcing the waste container 100 by providing a stiffer material between the side walls of the waste container 100. The reinforcing element 160 thus prevents the waste container 100 from freely collapsing and instead maintains the intended shape (square shape) of the waste container 100.
  • [0044]
    The reinforcing element 160 does not have to be stiffer than the material of the side walls 114 and wall 112 in all embodiments since it can be act more as a spacer when the walls 112, 114 are formed of a more rigid material, such as a paper. In this embodiment, the same paper product can be used to form the element 160 and the walls 112, 114. The reinforcing element 160 is formed of a material that maintains its form in folded and opened positions.
  • [0045]
    As explained herein, the reinforcing element 160 can include indicia 165 that falls within a selected theme, such as sports, outdoor imagery, etc. For example and as shown, the indicia is not limited to being printed indicia but the shape of the reinforcing element 160 itself can done according to a theme. As illustrated, the reinforcing element 160 can have a baseball batter shape. FIG. 5 is when reinforcing element 160 is fully deployed.
  • [0046]
    In FIGS. 1-5, the product package 150 holds a product (food product) that is sunflower seeds or nuts or any other food product that has a waste component. The shells of sunflower seeds become a waste component of the product when the edible part of the product is consumed. Waste container 100 is provided to be used to neatly dispose the waste component of this product. As mentioned above, the folded flat waste container 100 does not detract from the advertising and product brand information on the package 150 as it is designed to blend into the advertising design.
  • [0047]
    Having the waste container 100 folded flat keeps it as unobtrusive as possible which aids in shipping, storing, and displaying the product package.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 2, a perspective view, illustrates waste container 100, as shown in FIG. 1, as it is being unfolded and FIG. 3 shows waste container 100 unfolded and open ready to receive the waste product. The waste container 100, always folded-flat, regardless of the shape to which it opens, can be likened to an origami sculpture.
  • [0049]
    Edible products, such as peanuts and sun flower seeds, are likely to be sold for on-site consumption at many sporting events. Thus, using his ability to design a three-dimensional configuration that can be flat-folded, the present Inventor provided a way to create a relationship between the waste container and specific sporting events by designing the perimeter and body of the waste container to relate to common sport elements referred to as “zones”. For example, the perimeter of the waste container 100 can be designed to mimic a basketball rim, baseball hitter zone, soccer goal, or football touchdown zone, for example. In one example, the waste container 100 is attached to a product package 150 in its usual flat-folded state, but when unfolded, for use, the waste container resembles a football lineman with his arms out and hands folded creating a frame that outlines the opening into which the waste is to be placed and creating an amusement aspect of the waste container. When an activity seems like fun, children are more apt to participate in that activity. This helps to teach children to dispose of wastes properly and eat a healthier snack due to the added entertainment. Another example of a waste container is one in which it is designed to simulate a football end-field.
  • [0050]
    In another embodiment, the waste container provides for a relationship between edible products that have an inedible waste component and a sporting event, such as a basketball game. For example, the waste container unfolds to the shape of a basketball hoop, again providing for an amusing manner of disposing of waste product. In addition, both a baseball batter figure and a catcher can be incorporated into the design of this waste container.
  • [0051]
    Alternatively, instead of relying on a cutout figure (reinforcing element 160) to maintain the waste container in its unfolded state, there is contemplated having a partial lid or lip that is in contact with the perimeter of the opening of the waste container to keep the waste container in its unfolded position. It is to be understood that the partial lid or lip is also contemplated to be presented in the form of a sports figure or any other figure to fit in with a desired theme. Note also that the lid may be attached to the perimeter of the waste container by inserting the tab on the lid into the slit that is provided to receive the tab. Another way to have the lid attached to the container is to have the lid be part of the rim, so it is always maintained in a closed and waste container shape maintaining position. In other words, there may be several ways of using a lid to maintain the shape of the waste container and all are contemplated for use in the invention. Yet another method of maintaining the shape of the waste container is to use the rim of the unfolded waste container to maintain the shape. The square shape of the rimmed perimeter of the waste container is provided simply as an example. The shape of the waste container can be any shape desired.
  • [0052]
    Such embodiments are limited only by one's imagination. For holidays the waste container could have a Santa Claus cutout and the perimeter of the waste container could be the bag carried by Santa Claus. For Easter, the cutout could be a bunny holding a basket that would be the waste container. For use in food concessions on a beach, the cutout could be a child in a bathing suit and the waste container could be a sand pail. In addition to designing the waste container to relate to the setting and time in which the product is sold, the waste containers may be designed for the purpose of advertising a future event or products.
  • [0053]
    In another embodiment, the waste container suggests a goal and is accompanied by a goalie figure that functions to keep waste product from spilling when the product package is tipped to pour product out of its package.
  • [0054]
    Also the waste container can be sealed for future use or disposal. To provide for the time when there is left over edible product and user wishes to save the remaining edible for later use, sealable/unsealable tape can be provided to seal the waste container closed for future use. For example, in FIG. 9, the element 299 represents adhesive tape that can be used to seal the waste container 200. The tape 299 can be removed or lifted at least partially from the product package 250 and then applied to the open end of the waste container 200 for closing thereof. At a later time, it can be lifted again for accessing the container 200 to place more waste therein.
  • [0055]
    FIGS. 6-8 show a waste container 200 according to a first embodiment of the present invention detachably attached to a product package 250. In this embodiment, the waste container 200 is a separate component (accessory) that is attached to one face 252 of the product package 250 by the user. Thus, a retail display of waste containers 200 can be provided at a point of purchase next to the product package 250. A number of different sizes of waste containers and different styles (different themes) can be one display for purchase and combination with the product package. The waste container can also be provided in a sleeve like package for protection of the waste container. The user then opens the sleeve package and removes the waste container.
  • [0056]
    It will be appreciated that the waste container 200 according to this embodiment is thus designed to act as an accessory and can be used with existing commercially available product packages, such as peanut and sunflower seed packages. As discussed below, the waste container 200 can be deployed (unfolded) to take a form of the waste container 200 and after taking this form, the waste container 200 is then attached to the product package 250. As discussed herein, the attachment between the waste container 200 and the product package 250 is preferably of a detachable type yet it is of a secure nature.
  • [0057]
    The waste container 200 is folded along fold lines 210 to form a compact folded structure that open by folding the structure outwardly so as to form an enclosed receptacle (waste container). The waste container 200 can be formed to have any number of different shapes, including square, rectangular, circular, etc. In the illustrated embodiment, the waste container 200 has a square shape and is defined by a bottom wall 212 (floor) and a plurality of side walls 214 that are attached to the bottom wall 212 and extend upwardly therefrom. The top of the waster container 200 is open so as to permit the user to insert the waste components, such as shells, into the enclosed interior 215 of the waste container 200. The fold lines defined between the side walls 214 and bottom wall 212 permit the entire waste container 200 to be folded in a compact manner to allow it initially to be provided to the consumer in a completely folded state (FIG. 6) in which it lies flush against the front face 252 of the product package 250.
  • [0058]
    As shown in FIGS. 6-8, the top of the waste container 200 can include a reinforcing element 260 that is movable (pivotable) relative to the side walls 214 of the waste container 200. For example, the reinforcing element 260 can be pivotally coupled to one side wall 214 (i.e., at one end of the waste container 200). As shown in FIGS. 6-8, the reinforcing element 260 is intended to be pivoted downwardly and inserted at least partially into the hollow interior 215 of the waste container 200. The side walls 214 and bottom wall 212 are freely flexible and collapsible and thus the waste container 200 does not naturally assume and hold the square receptacle shape. The reinforcing element 260 assists in maintaining the shape of the waste container 200 by placing the reinforcing element 260 between the side walls 214 of the waste container 200 such that the reinforcing element 260 assumes a generally perpendicular orientation relative to the side walls 214. As a result and as shown, the reinforcing element 260, in this position, partially closes off the open top of the waste container 200. The reinforcing element 260 is thus sized and shaped to be received within the waste container 200 between one rear wall 214 (against the front face 252 of the product package 250) and one front wall 214 of the waste container 200.
  • [0059]
    The reinforcing element 260 is formed of a material that is different from the material that forms the foldable walls of the waste container 200. In particular, the reinforcing element 260 can be formed of a stiffer material, such as a paper product (i.e., cardboard, heavy paper stock, etc.). The reinforcing element 260 provides a means for reinforcing the waste container 200 by providing a stiffer material between the side walls of the waste container 200. However, the reinforcing element 260 does not have to be stiffer than the other components (walls) of the waste container 200 and instead, can be formed of the same material. The reinforcing element 260 thus prevents the waste container 200 from freely collapsing and instead maintains the intended shape (square shape) of the waste container 200. In the illustrated embodiment, the reinforcing element 260 is in the form of a rectangular shaped element that is complementary to the shape of the waste container 200; however, the reinforcing element 260 can have other shapes, such as an arcuate shape or the like.
  • [0060]
    It will be appreciated that most times, the product package 250 includes some type of indicia 225, such as a product name and labeling, on the faces of the product package 250. The waste container 200 can also include indicia which can match the indicia 225 of the product package 250 so as to allow the ability to present advertising on the waste container 200.
  • [0061]
    FIG. 9 illustrates one means for attaching the waste container 200 to the product package 250. In particular, an adhesive means 290 can be used to attach the waste container to the product package 250. The adhesive means 290 can include a layer of adhesive formed on a tab 291 formed along a rear wall of the waste container 200 and include a protective release layer. Waste container 200 is shown unfolded ready to receive a waste product. This example also shows how product package 250 and waste container 200 can both have a support tab 209 extending from their bottom edges providing for standing supports where each reinforces the other. The adhesive can be of the permanent bonding type or can be the type that allows for the waste container to be removed from the product package for disposal. For example, most portioned-edible products are packaged in some form of plastic and, thus, are often not recyclable, whereas the waste products from the inedible portion of edible product are generally recyclable and even compostable. Having the waste container 200 made from a recyclable paper provides for the waste and the waste container to be disposed of in a recycling container or a composting container. Some adhesives are designed to provide for easy separation of the adhered items. Having an adhesive that allows for removal of the waste container 200 from the product package 250 with just a slight tug provides for the correct disposal of the waste container 200 and the waste.
  • [0062]
    With reference to FIG. 10, it will be appreciated that the accessory in the folded state can be stored in a pocket or slot 255 formed in the product package 250. A front face 259 of the pocket 255 can be transparent and thus the underlying indicia 223 on the folded waste container 200 contained in the pocket 255 blends in and is continuous with the other indicia 225 of the waste container 200. In other words, when the waste container 200 is disposed within the pocket 255, it does not detract from the indicia (advertising) that is present on the front of the surrounding sections of the front face of the product package 250. The pocket 255 can include a tab with releasable adhesive or be heat sealed along the top to initially securely store the waste container 200 therein. Once unfolded and used, the waste container 200 can simply be discarded with the product package 250 after use.
  • [0063]
    FIG. 11 illustrates another means for securely attaching the waste container 200 to the product package 250. On a portion of the waste container 200, a locking tab or hook member 219 can be formed and is configured to be received within a slot or pocket 259 of the product package 250. The tab 219 can be formed of reinforced material to provide a secure means for coupling the waste container 200 to the product package 250.
  • [0064]
    The tab 219 is thus attached to the waste container 200 with a section of the tab 219 for insertion into the slot 259.
  • [0065]
    The tab or hook 219 can also include an adhesive with a protective release cover that provides additional means for securing the waste container 200 to the product package 250.
  • [0066]
    It will be appreciated that other mechanical and bond type attachment means can be used to attach the waste container to the product package.
  • [0067]
    As shown in FIG. 8, typically, the product package 250 has an area that is intended to be opened to allow access to the product. For example, the product package 250 can include a scored line or the like to allow the user to rip the product package 250 open. For example, the corner of a product package is often cut at an angle so that when the product package is tipped some of the product contained in the. package is transferred to the user's hand.
  • [0068]
    In a square or rectangular shaped package 250, this area is usually located in one corner, such as the right corner of the package 250 as shown. Many times, the consumer tilts the product package 250 to allow the food product to be more easily accessed since the food product can accumulate near the open corner.
  • [0069]
    In order to prevent the waste in the waste container 200 from falling out of the opening of the waste container 200, the reinforcing element 260 is positioned and located near the intended opening of the product package 250. As mentioned herein, the reinforcing element 260 extends across and closes off a section (i.e., an end) of the waste container 200 and therefore, it acts as a barrier that prevents the waste from falling out of the waste container when the product is tilted for removing the food product in the package 250. The reinforcing element or spacer 260 thus deflects and prevents the waste from sliding out of the tilted package 250.
  • [0070]
    The additional barrier feature 260 may be a figure that coincides with a given theme, such as the additional feature being an attached cut-out of a baseball batter figure. Thus the additional feature both functions as a safeguard against spillage of waste product and enlarges the “zone” concept. The additional feature can be of any desired functional design, size, and shape, but as in one embodiment illustrated is contemplated to have be of a design that is in keeping with the theme of the product or the event at which the product is to be used. In this example, the baseball batter also serves to function as a support for maintaining the unfolded waste container from refolding until it is desired to do so. It is to be understood that the baseball batter described here is just an example; the figure could take many forms, such as other sports figures or inanimate objects.
  • [0071]
    Thus, the reinforcing element 260 not only provides form and structure to the unfolded waste container 200 but it also provides advertising space or the ability to provide a shaped part that provides amusement (i.e., baseball batter shaped, etc.) and also acts as a barrier for containing the waste when the package 250 is tilted.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 12 shows the waste container 101 according to another embodiment of the present invention in which the waste container 101, shown in an unfolded state, that is separate from the product package 150, includes a structural rim 265 and reinforcing element 260. The waste container 101 is similar to the waste container 200 with the exception that it includes the structural rim 265. It also includes the reinforcing element 260 has been described above and is formed along an upper edge of one side wall 114 of the waste container 101 and in pivotal so that it can be moved into a final deployed position between the side walls 114 of the waste container 101.
  • [0073]
    The structural rim 265 is in the form of rails 267 that are flexible and disposed along the top edges of the side walls 114 of the waste container 101.
  • [0074]
    The structural rim 265 is preferably formed of a memory material, such as nitinol, etc., that assumes a rest position after a force has been removed. Thus, structural rim 265 is formed as an interconnected network that adds rigidity to the waste container 101. When the waste container 101 is folded into its packed position, the structural rim 265 is thus folded and stores energy. However, once the user releases the waste container 101 (e.g., as by perforating a release tab or the like), the structural rim 265 automatically unfolds and assumes its normal rest position which defines the top edges of the waste container 101 and this provides rigidity and form to the waste container 101. The reinforcing element 260 can be attached to one rail that is part of the structural rim 265 and does not have to be formed of a memory material.
  • [0075]
    FIG. 13 shows a protective holder 300 for initially holding a folded waste container 305 which is similar to the other waste containers disclosed herein and is a closed ended receptacle for holding the waste component. FIG. 13 is different than FIG. 10 in that FIG. 10 shows a pocket 255 that is integrally formed with the product package 250, while the protective holder 300 of FIG. 13 is separate from the product package 250 and is a stand-alone product or at least is a separate component that is attached by the manufacturer separate from manufacture of the product package 250. The protective holder 300 can be formed of the same or different material compared to the package 250 and can include an adhesive backing material or is bonded in a different process (heat weld) to the product package 250. A rupturable flap 310 can initially contain the waste container 305 in the holder 300. To use, the holder 300 is opened and the waste container 305 is removed and then is attached to the product package using the means described herein, such as an adhesive tab, a hook, a locking tab, etc. associated with the container 305. The waste container 305 can even be refolded and placed back in the holder 300.
  • [0076]
    FIG. 14 shows an embodiment in which a bottom wall 402 of a waste container 400 includes fold lines 410 to permit the bottom wall 402 to easily fold onto one of the side walls 420 to form a compact folded waste container 400 that is later opened by the user. The bottom wall 402 and/or side walls 420 can include a gusset structure to permit such folding. A protective seal 430, such as a transparent film can cover the waste container 400 and when it is desired to unfold the waste container 400, the transparent film is ruptured (removed from the produce package 150) and the waste container 400 is accessed and unfolded to form an open unfolded waste container 400. In this embodiment, the waste container 400 can be integrally formed with the product package or it can be attached subsequently (as shown) by the manufacture as a different step and then the transparent film is applied over the folded waste container 400 and the product package 150. The waste container 400 can be attached to the face of the product package 250 using conventional techniques, such as using an adhesive or other bonding methods.
  • [0077]
    The inventive concept includes the material used to make the waste container. Although there are many known materials that would suit, it is contemplated that the waste container be made of recyclable paper, which would enable the waste container and its contents to be disposed of in a recyclable container, even if the product package is not recyclable. It is further contemplated that the waste container be made of materials that are compostable so that the inedible, but compostable waste, such as sunflower seeds, may be placed in the compost pile to replenish the nutrients of the Earth.
  • [0078]
    The waste container may be manufactured as a stand-alone product to be adhered to product packages after they are produced. The waste container also may be manufactured as part of the manufacturing process of the product package.
  • [0079]
    In yet another embodiment, a cap or cover can be provided for placement over the open waste container for storage purposes or to otherwise contain the waste. For example, a cover with tabs with adhesive thereon can be provided and can be attached across the top opening of the waste container by exposing the adhesive tabs and adhering them the side walls of the waste container. The cover can be removed by simply lifting the tabs from the side walls since the adhesive is of a type such as PSA that permits easy detachment.
  • [0080]
    It will be appreciated that the removable cap (cover) 400 can be similarly disposed on the waste container 200 or any other container disclosed herein.
  • [0081]
    For example, as shown in FIGS. 15-16, a waste container 100 is shown with a removable cap (cover) 400. The cover 400 includes a base portion 410 that is sized to be received over and cover the open end of the waste container 100 and includes an attachments means 420. The illustrated attachment means 420 can be in the form at least one tab 420 long one side edge 415 of the base portion 410. The tab 420 is flexible and includes an adhesive or the like formed on an inner surface thereof that faces the outer surface of the side wall 114. To attach the tab 420 to the side wall 114, the tab 420 is bent over the side wall 114 and brought into contact with the side wall 114 and the adhesive is brought into contact therewith for attaching the tab 420 to the side walls 114, thereby attaching the cover 400 to the waste container 100. The adhesive can be a PSA and thus, the cover 400 can be freely removed and reapplied.
  • [0082]
    The cover 400 can include a pair of tabs 420 on opposing edges 415. It is also envisioned that the cover 400 could be attached to the side wall 114 at one end and thus pivot about this end and have a tab 420 opposite to close and seal the cover 400 in the closed position.
  • [0083]
    FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a waste container 500 according to another embodiment and attached or integral to product package 150. The waste container 500 is similar to waste containers 100, 200 and includes a bottom wall section 510 that is folded in the following manner. The waste container 500 includes side walls 514 that include fold lines or gussets to allow the collapsing and folding of the waste container 500. FIG. 17 shows the folded position of the waste container 500. In this embodiment, the bottom wall section 510 is a continuation of a front wall section 515 and a rear wall section 517 in that when the waste container 500 is open, the front wall section 515, bottom wall section 510 and rear wall section 517 assume generally a U or V shape (see FIG. 18). When folded as shown in FIG. 17, the bottom wall section 510 is folded up against and flush to the front wall section 515. The waste container 500 can then unfold like an accordion.
  • [0084]
    FIG. 18 shows the waste container 500 open and the bottom wall section 510 is not a separate wall structure but rather is continuous structure and has a smooth transition from the rear wall section 517 to the bottom wall section 510 to the front wall section 515. The side wall 514 can include a center fold or gusset structure. When shells are placed in the waste container 500, the bottom wall section 510 will thus not be a flat planar floor but will be a sloped floor (i.e. U shaped, etc.).
  • [0085]
    As in FIG. 14, a transparent sheet can be placed over the folded waste container 500.
  • [0086]
    It will be appreciated that while the waste containers illustrated herein include multi-sided side walls constructions (i.e., three or four), the waste container of the present invention is not limited to such structures and can be formed of a single side wall (i.e., circular shaped bag) or a pair of side walls bonded along peripheral edges, etc. The shape of the waste container is not critical so long as it can be folded and performs the function described herein.
  • [0087]
    It will also be appreciated the reinforcing (spacer) elements described herein can be oversized in that they can include a base section that fits between the front and rear walls of the waste container and a second section that extends beyond the edges of the waste container. For example, the base section is received between the front and rear walls to maintain the open shape of the waste container, but the second section of the reinforcing element can extend beyond the front wall of the waster container (i.e., it can overhang the waste container). This permits larger sized reinforcing elements to be formed so as to permit a larger scale figure, such as a sports figure or another themed object to extend beyond the confines of the waste container. The second section that extends beyond is thus located above top edges of the sides walls (sides, rear, and front walls).
  • [0088]
    The foregoing description, for purposes of explanation, uses specific and defined nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice the invention. Thus, the foregoing description of the specific embodiment is presented for purposes of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Those skilled in the art will recognize that many changes may be made to the features, embodiments, and methods of making the embodiments of the invention described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Furthermore, the present invention is not limited to the described methods, embodiments, features or combinations of features but include all the variation, methods, modifications, and combinations of features within the scope of the appended claims. The invention is limited only by the claims.

Claims (23)

  1. 1. Packaging for a retail food product that contains a waste component comprising:
    a main product package including a hollow interior space for receiving the food product, the main product package including a first face; and
    a waste container that has a body with a number of defined fold lines to permit the waste container to move between an initial folded storage position and an unfolded position in which the waste container forms a receptacle defined by at least one side wall and a bottom wall that define a hollow interior space for receiving the waste component of the food product after consumption thereof;
    wherein the waste container includes at least one wall that is integrally attached to the first face of the main product package so as to form unitary packaging for the retail food product, wherein when use of the waster container is desired, the body of the waste container is unfolded and forms the partially enclosed receptacle.
  2. 2. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the main product package is formed of a fully flexible plastic film material.
  3. 3. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the waste container has a square or rectangular shape with a rear face thereof being defined by the first face of the main product package.
  4. 4. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the side wall is formed of a different material relative to the bottom wall.
  5. 5. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the side wall is formed of the same material that forms the main product package.
  6. 6. The packaging of claim 1, further including a reinforcing member associated with the waste container for maintaining a shape of the waste container in the unfolded position, wherein in the unfolded position, the reinforcing member lies generally between the first face of the main product package and a front face of the waste container.
  7. 7. The packaging of claim 6, wherein the reinforcing member lies generally perpendicular to the first face of the main product package and is located proximate an intended opening of the product package so that when the product package is tilted at an angle to dispense product, the reinforcing member acts as a barrier to prevent waste component contained therein from spilling.
  8. 8. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the waste container has a box shape and includes a front side wall and two opposing side walls that extend between the front side wall and the first face of the main product package, the first face representing a rear wall of the waste container.
  9. 9. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the first face includes indicia that is defined by at least first and second sections, the first section being formed on the main product package and the second section being formed on an outer surface of the folded waste container, the first and second sections forming an uninterrupted, continuous image.
  10. 10. The packaging of claim 1, wherein the folded waste container is coupled to the first face of the main product package by means of a rupturable seal.
  11. 11. The packaging of claim 10, wherein the rupturable seal comprises a score or perforated line.
  12. 12. Packaging for a retail food product that contains a waste component comprising:
    a main product package including a hollow interior space for receiving the food product, the main product package having a body including a first face; and
    a waste container that is distinct and separate from the main product package and has a body with a number of defined fold lines to permit the waste container to move between an initial folded storage position and an unfolded position in which the waste container forms a receptacle defined by at least one side wall and a bottom wall that define a hollow interior space for receiving the waste component of the food product after consumption thereof, wherein the side wall of the waste container is attached to the first face of the main product package and in the initial folded storage position, the waste container lies flush against the first face of the body of the main product package;
    wherein when use of the waster container is desired, the body of the waste container is unfolded and forms the partially enclosed receptacle.
  13. 13. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the waste container is attached to the first face of the body of the main product package by means of an adhesive.
  14. 14. The packaging of claim 12, wherein in the initial folded storage position, the waste container is disposed within a pocket formed in the first face of the body of the main product package.
  15. 15. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the waste container includes a tab formed on a rear face thereon for reception in the pocket when the waste container is in the unfolded position, whereby the waste container is supported by the main product package.
  16. 16. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the side wall is formed of the same material that forms the main product package.
  17. 17. The packaging of claim 12, further including a reinforcing member associated with the waste container for maintaining a shape of the waste container in the unfolded position, wherein in the unfolded position, the reinforcing member lies generally between a rear wall of the waste container that is attached to the first face of the main product package and a front face of the waste container.
  18. 18. The packaging of claim 17, wherein the reinforcing member lies generally perpendicular to the first face of the main product package.
  19. 19. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the waste container has a box shape and includes a front side wall and two opposing side walls that extend between the front side wall and the first face of the main product package, the first face representing a rear wall of the waste container.
  20. 20. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the food product is a shell product and the waste component comprises cracked shells.
  21. 21. The packaging of claim 12, wherein upper edges of the side walls of the waste container include an interconnected rim structure that is formed of a memory material that in a rest position which comprises the unfolded position defines a square or rectangular opening into the hollow interior space and in the initial folded storage position is folded so as to store energy that is released when the waste container is unfolded.
  22. 22. The packaging of claim 12, wherein in the initial folded storage position, the waste container is disposed within a holder that is separate from the main product package and coupled to a face thereof, the holder having a openable flap that seals the waste container in the initial folded storage position within an interior of the holder.
  23. 23. The packaging of claim 12, wherein the first face includes indicia that is defined by at least first and second sections, the first section being formed on the main product package and the second section being formed on a surface of the folded waste container that is coupled to the main product package, the first and second sections forming an uninterrupted, continuous image when the waste container is in the folded storage position.
US13409934 2011-03-01 2012-03-01 Flat foldable, amusement providing, ecofriendly waste containers Abandoned US20120224791A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2013060921A1 (en) * 2011-10-25 2013-05-02 Gonzalez Angel Serrano Container for food products
CN103640772A (en) * 2013-11-22 2014-03-19 无锡睿网科技有限公司 Food packaging bag

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GB300103A (en) * 1928-06-05 1928-11-08 Mahler Willy Improvements in paper or like bags
DE510382C (en) * 1931-08-06 Anton Burkhard Dipl Ing Tuete with waste bag
US2345309A (en) * 1940-04-09 1944-03-28 Jr Theodor Wensel Sanitary tissue container
US4299324A (en) * 1979-10-22 1981-11-10 Dickens Robert E Folding beverage can container
US5170934A (en) * 1991-06-04 1992-12-15 Lemoine Ryne P Instant disposable ice chest
US5630544A (en) * 1995-08-25 1997-05-20 Shane; Penny K. Food products container with pocket
US5803256A (en) * 1994-10-27 1998-09-08 Molnlycke Ab Method for providing bag-like packages of disposable absorbent articles with bags for the temporary keeping of used articles
US5842631A (en) * 1998-05-08 1998-12-01 Berger; Cheryl Condiment compartment for quick scoop food cartons
US6047879A (en) * 1998-06-19 2000-04-11 Acco Brands, Inc. Expanding envelope with a utility pocket
US20070223843A1 (en) * 2006-03-21 2007-09-27 Daniel M Frohwein Quick access pocket for shopping bags
US7757853B2 (en) * 2005-06-07 2010-07-20 1686592 Ontario Inc. Tissue container
US20110284550A1 (en) * 2010-05-18 2011-11-24 Gerry Gersovitz Multi-Compartment Containers
USD673056S1 (en) * 2012-04-11 2012-12-25 Gus Gallas Bag with side pouch

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE510382C (en) * 1931-08-06 Anton Burkhard Dipl Ing Tuete with waste bag
GB300103A (en) * 1928-06-05 1928-11-08 Mahler Willy Improvements in paper or like bags
US2345309A (en) * 1940-04-09 1944-03-28 Jr Theodor Wensel Sanitary tissue container
US4299324A (en) * 1979-10-22 1981-11-10 Dickens Robert E Folding beverage can container
US5170934A (en) * 1991-06-04 1992-12-15 Lemoine Ryne P Instant disposable ice chest
US5803256A (en) * 1994-10-27 1998-09-08 Molnlycke Ab Method for providing bag-like packages of disposable absorbent articles with bags for the temporary keeping of used articles
US5630544A (en) * 1995-08-25 1997-05-20 Shane; Penny K. Food products container with pocket
US5842631A (en) * 1998-05-08 1998-12-01 Berger; Cheryl Condiment compartment for quick scoop food cartons
US6047879A (en) * 1998-06-19 2000-04-11 Acco Brands, Inc. Expanding envelope with a utility pocket
US7757853B2 (en) * 2005-06-07 2010-07-20 1686592 Ontario Inc. Tissue container
US20070223843A1 (en) * 2006-03-21 2007-09-27 Daniel M Frohwein Quick access pocket for shopping bags
US20110284550A1 (en) * 2010-05-18 2011-11-24 Gerry Gersovitz Multi-Compartment Containers
USD673056S1 (en) * 2012-04-11 2012-12-25 Gus Gallas Bag with side pouch

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2013060921A1 (en) * 2011-10-25 2013-05-02 Gonzalez Angel Serrano Container for food products
CN103640772A (en) * 2013-11-22 2014-03-19 无锡睿网科技有限公司 Food packaging bag

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