Title:
Disposable bag with scented drawstring
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable drawstring bag has odor-related material in the drawstring, but not in the bag member or the drawstring channel, so that prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially contained within the channel, but after activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially exposed.



Inventors:
Franzen, Richard (St. Paul, MN, US)
Application Number:
10/207463
Publication Date:
01/29/2004
Filing Date:
07/29/2002
Assignee:
FRANZEN RICHARD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/466
International Classes:
B65D33/28; B65D65/34; B65F1/00; B65F7/00; (IPC1-7): B65D81/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Maldjian Law Group LLC (Tinton Falls, NJ, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A disposable bag unit comprising: (A) a flexible bag member of generally tubular configuration with one open end and one closed end; and (B) a drawstring arrangement disposed on said bag member adjacent to said open end thereof and adapted to close said open end when activated, said drawstring arrangement including: (i) a flexible drawstring channel adjacent said open end, and (ii) a flexible drawstring containing therein an odor-related material; substantially the entire length of said drawstring being within said channel before said drawstring arrangement is activated, and a substantial length of said drawstring being outside of said channel after said drawstring arrangement is activated; said bag member and said channel being formed of non-odor related material and said drawstring containing therein an odor-related material such that prior to activation of said drawstring arrangement said odor-related material is substantially contained within said channel, but after activation of said drawstring arrangement said odor-related material is substantially exposed.

2. The bag unit of claim 1 wherein said odor-related material is a scented material.

3. The bag unit of claim 1 wherein said odor-related material is a deodorant material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a disposable bag unit such as a garbage bag, and more particularly to such a unit including a scented drawstring.

[0002] It is well known to provide a disposable bag unit, such as a garbage bag, comprising a flexible bag member of generally tubular configuration with one open end and one closed end, and a drawstring arrangement disposed on the bag member adjacent to the open end thereof and adapted to close the open end when activated. The drawstring arrangement typically includes a flexible drawstring channel adjacent to the open end and a flexible drawstring (e.g., a draw tape) contained therein. Substantially the entire length of the drawstring is within the channel before the drawstring arrangement is activated, and a substantial length of the drawstring is outside of the channel after the drawstring arrangement is activated. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,006,380 (hereby incorporated by reference).

[0003] It is also well known to provide such a unit with an odor-related material. The odor-related material may be used for a wide variety of different purposes such as air freshening, fragrance, deodorizing, perfuming, insecticides, disinfection, animal repelling, and the like. The odor-related material has been applied to such units using a variety of different mechanisms.

[0004] The odor-related material may be sprayed on to the bag member material either before or after formation of the bag member. Alternatively, where the bag member is formed from an extruded polymer (such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE)), the odor-related material may conveniently be incorporated in the polymeric mix prior to extrusion thereof to form the bag member configuration. Neither of these mechanisms is entirely satisfactory as each requires the use of a relatively large amount of the relatively expensive odor-related material, and the odor-related material is dispersed over at least one entire surface area of the bag (typically the outer surface area) rather than being concentrated adjacent the drawstring arrangement where the undesirable scent is concentrated as it leaves through the bag open end. Further, once the bag member is unfolded and put in use, dissipation of the odor-related material commences, regardless of whether there is any garbage present therein. Thus, the limited quantity of the odor-related material is partially dissipated before it is needed-that is, before the bag member is full (presumably with at least some odiferous material) and ready to be closed and disposed of. Thus the aforementioned mechanisms are not as economical or as effective as desired.

[0005] In recognition of the deficiencies of the above-noted mechanisms for applying odor-related material to the bag member, a first mechanism has been to associate the odor-related material with the drawstring channel adjacent the open end of the bag member. Thus the odor-related material may simply be loosely disposed as a powder within the drawstring channel so that it is brought out of the channel, with the drawstring, when the drawstring is partially withdrawn from the channel during activation of the drawstring arrangement. This mechanism is not entirely satisfactory since it results in loose particles of odor-related material being released during production of the bag unit and also releases such particles of loose odor-related material into the environment once the drawstring arrangement is activated. Thus, the first mechanism is not entirely satisfactory from the points of view of the bag manufacturer and the bag user.

[0006] A second mechanism has been to use an adhesive containing frangible micro-capsules carrying the odor-related material therein. The adhesive is applied so that some portions of each micro-capsule are secured to the inner surface of the drawstring channel and other portions are secured to the outer surface of the drawstring. Thus, when the drawstring arrangement is eventually activated and the drawstring partially withdrawn from the drawstring channel, the relative motion between the drawstring and the drawstring channel ruptures the micro-capsules and releases the odor-related material at the exits of the channel. However, the use of micro-capsules contributes to both the complexity and cost of the manufacturing process relative to the simple inclusion of an odor-related material in a polymeric mix prior to extrusion.

[0007] Thus the need remains for a simple and economical mechanism for applying an odor-related material to a bag unit in such a way that the odor-related material is not exposed to the environment until it is needed and then it is exposed to the environment only adjacent the open end thereof.

[0008] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a disposable bag unit wherein the drawstring contains an odor-related material.

[0009] Another object is to provide such a unit wherein, in a preferred embodiment, prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially contained within the drawstring channel, but after activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially exposed to the environment about the open end.

[0010] A further object is to provide such a unit wherein, in a preferred embodiment, the odor-related material is an integral part of the drawstring and is not part of the material of the bag member or drawstring channel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] It has now been found that the above and related objects of the present invention are obtained in a disposable bag unit comprising a flexible bag member of generally tubular configuration with one open end and one closed end, and a drawstring arrangement disposed on the bag member adjacent to the open end thereof and adapted to close the open end when activated. The drawstring arrangement includes a flexible drawstring channel adjacent the open end, and a flexible drawstring containing therein an odor-related material. Substantially the entire length of the drawstring is within the channel before the drawstring arrangement is activated, and a substantial length of the drawstring is outside of the channel after the drawstring arrangement is activated. The bag member and the channel are formed of non-odor related material and the drawstring contains therein an odor-related material such that prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially contained within the channel, but after activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially exposed.

[0012] The odor-related material is preferably either a scented material or a deodorant material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0013] The above and related objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the presently preferred, albeit illustrative, embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a disposable bag unit according to the present invention prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement; and

[0015] FIG. 2 is a isometric view thereof after activation of the drawstring arrangement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Referring now to the drawing, and in particular to FIG. 1 thereof, therein illustrated schematically is an individual disposable bag unit according to the present invention generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The individual bag 10 may be formed by transversely severing a portion of a continuous length of material and then sealing the severed edges.

[0017] The bag unit 10 includes a flexible bag member, generally designated 11, having lateral sides 12 and 14, a closed bottom 16, and an open top 18. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the bag member 11 is formed of two panels 19 of thermoplastic material (such as polyethylene), the sides of the two panels 19 being joined on three sides (lateral sides 12, 14 and bottom 16) and open on the fourth side to form the open top 18. Heat seals (illustrated in phantom line) are provided at the lateral sides 12, 14 and the bottom 16 to join the two panels 19. Alternatively, the bottom 16 may be formed (without a heat seal) by a fold in a U-folded or J-folded sheet material, or the lateral sides 12, 14 may be formed without a heat seal.

[0018] The bag unit 10 further includes a drawstring arrangement including tubular hems 20 and 22 containing drawstrings (e.g., drawtapes) 24 and 26, respectively. A hem or top portion of each panel 19 is folded over adjacent top 18 to form a flexible tubular hem or channel 20, 22. Flexible drawstrings 24, 26 in each tubular hem or channel 20, 22 are secured at and to the lateral sides 12, 14 of the panels 19. The drawstrings 24, 26 are formed separately from the bag member 11 and may have a mono-layer or multi-layer structure, as desired. Each hem 20, 22 is heat-sealed to the adjacent panel 19 across the width of the bag (i.e., between lateral sides 12, 14) below the drawstrings 24, 26. An opening 28 may be provided in each hem 20, 22 (preferably centrally intermediate lateral sides 12, 14) for accessing a respective drawstring 24, 26, as illustrated in FIG. 1 for pedagogic purposes, although the openings 28 are preferably defined simply by a line of weakness in the respective hem portions, the hems 20, 22 being marked to delineate the same and facilitate their removal by the consumer to expose portions of the drawstrings 24, 26 therein.

[0019] As illustrated by a comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2, the drawstring arrangement disposed on the bag member adjacent to the open end 18 thereof is adapted to close the open end 18 when activated. Substantially the entire length of the drawstrings 24, 26 is within the channel before the drawstring arrangement is activated (as illustrated in FIG. 1), but a substantial length of each drawstring 24, 26 is outside of the channel after the drawstring arrangement is activated (as illustrated in FIG. 2).

[0020] Because the materials of the bag member 11 and the channels 20, 22 are formed without odor-related material and only the material of the drawstrings 24, 26 contains therein an odor-related material, prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement (see FIG. 1) the odor-related material is substantially contained within the channels 20, 22, but after activation of the drawstring arrangement (see FIG. 2) the odor-related material of the drawstrings 24, 26 is substantially exposed to the environment.

[0021] The odor-related material is easily and economically incorporated in the drawstring material prior to extrusion thereof so that it is integral therewith and not in the form of either loose powder particles or micro-capsules which must be bonded both to the drawstring and the drawstring channel. In a preferred process, an odor-related material, (preferably a liquid scent) is injected into an extruder. A color concentrate pellet is also added to the extruder to add color to the drawstring. These two ingredients are extruded with resin pellets (e.g., polyethylene carrier pellets) to create colored and scented master batch pellets. The colored and scented master batch pellets are then extruded with a base polyethylene resin into colored and scented roll stock film. The colored and scented roll stock film is then slit into strips (preferably about 1 inch wide) to create the colored and scented drawstring.

[0022] Prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement, the odor-related material is substantially contained within the channels 20, 22, the only exposure of the drawstrings 24, 26 to the immediate environment being through the apertures 28 in the channels 20, 22 and such apertures 28 are preferably covered by portions of the hems until it is time to activate the drawstring arrangement. Thus there is substantially no dissipation of the odor-related material into the environment prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement. Then, when the drawstring arrangement is activated, a substantial portion of the odor-related material is exposed to the immediate environment (assuming that the odor-related material is uniformly distributed throughout the drawstring). Indeed, except for the minor amount of odor-related material associated with the length of the drawstring remaining within the channel after activation of the drawstring arrangement, substantially all of the odor-related material becomes exposed to the immediate environment precisely where and when it is most needed, proximate to where the user's face is likely to be situated during the drawstring activation process and about the pathway which the scent of odiferous materials within the bag must traverse to escape the bag interior.

[0023] To summarize, the present invention provides a disposable bag unit wherein the drawstring contains an odor-related material such that, prior to activation of the drawstring arrangement, the odor-related material is substantially contained within the drawstring channel, and after activation of the drawstring arrangement the odor-related material is substantially exposed to the environment about the open end. The odor-related material is an integral part of the drawstring material and is not present in the material of the bag member or the drawstring channel.

[0024] Now that the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described in detail, various modifications and improvements thereon will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the spirit and scope of the present invention is to be construed broadly and limited only by the appended claims, and not by the foregoing specification.





 
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