Title:
Integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle with a first opening formed in the top wall through which tissues or other products are withdrawn, and a second opening for waste tissue to be reinserted into the container. The second opening includes a self-closing retaining feature such as a folding flap or slotted plastic film through which the waste tissue is inserted. The self-closing feature prevents the waste tissue from falling back out of the container. Inside the container, a moveable barrier is positioned to segregate new product from used product. The barrier moves within the container from one end to the other as the tissues are removed for use and inserted into the disposal receptacle after use.



Inventors:
Middione, Paul Anthony (San Jose, CA, US)
Middione, Marco Alberto (Scotts Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/396756
Publication Date:
04/01/2004
Filing Date:
03/24/2003
Assignee:
MIDDIONE PAUL ANTHONY
MIDDIONE MARCO ALBERTO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D6/40; B65D83/08; (IPC1-7): B65D6/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOY, JOSEPH MAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark A. Middione (Scotts Valley, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle comprising: a box portion, a first opening to dispense new product, and a second opening to receive used product; wherein a user removes new product from said first opening, uses the new product, and returns said used product to said box portion through said second opening.

2. The receptacle of claim 1 wherein: a moveable barrier is positioned inside said box portion, said barrier segregating said new product from said used product.

3. The receptacle of claim 1 wherein: said second opening includes a self-closing retaining means that inhibits said used product from falling out of said box portion after said used portion has been inserted through said second opening.

4. The receptacle of claim 2 wherein: said barrier moves within said box portion as said new product is removed for use, said barrier being moved by the reinsertion of said used product into said second opening.

5. The receptacle of claim 1 wherein: said box portion comprises; a top wall, a bottom wall, and four side walls; wherein each of said side walls is connected to two adjacent side walls and to said top wall and to said bottom wall, thereby forming a rectangular box portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to product packaging, and more particularly is an integrated dispenser and disposal receptacle for sheet products.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Prior art for a pop-up tissue dispenser as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,913 by McFarland does not include an integrated means to dispose of the used product. If a suitable waste container is not available, such as when the user is in an automobile, the user of the tissue has no convenient place for disposal. The U.S. Pat. No. 5,725,310 by Kruczko describes a receiving device that is separate from the dispenser and therefore increases the total volume to be used. Neither of these patents offers a means to dispose waste/used product within the original dispensing container.

[0005] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a convenient method of disposal of used product within the original package.

[0006] It is a further object of the present invention to reduce the likelihood of litter.

[0007] It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an entire package that can be recycled easily, as the used product is returned to the original container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention is an integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle that provides a method of disposing of used product, chiefly sheet material, and most often tissues. The integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle comprises a carton having a top wall, a bottom wall, and four side walls. The four side walls join the top wall to the bottom wall. The container has a first opening formed in the top wall through which the tissues are withdrawn. At least one of the side walls or the bottom walls includes an opening for waste tissue to be inserted into the container.

[0009] Inside the container, a moveable barrier is positioned to segregate new product from used product. The barrier moves within the container from one end to the other as the tissues are removed for use and inserted into the disposal receptacle after use. The barrier is moved by the force behind the inserted waste material.

[0010] The receptacle opening includes a self-closing feature such as a folding flap or slotted plastic film through which the waste tissue is inserted. The self-closing feature prevents the waste tissue from falling back out of the container.

[0011] An advantage of the present invention is that there is no additional volume of a dispensing container so that shipping & transportation costs are minimized.

[0012] Another advantage of the present invention is that it can be used with dry tissues, wet wipe tissues, or other personal effects or products such as hygienic rubber gloves.

[0013] A still further advantage of the present invention is that device can be easily added to existing product packaging using current product packaging methods.

[0014] Still another advantage of the present invention is that disposal in the container of the used tissues forces unused tissues toward the top of the container, thereby making it easier for the consumer to remove new tissues.

[0015] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the description of the best presently known mode of carrying out the invention as described herein and as illustrated in the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a sectional view showing the movable barrier, a new tissue ready to be removed and several used tissue after having been reinserted into the device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The present invention is an integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 that provides a method of disposing of used product in the same container from which the new product was removed. It should be recognized that the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle can be to dispense any flat item, but will be utilized chiefly for sheet materials. With this in mind, the following description uses facial tissues as a representative example of a product to be dispensed.

[0019] The integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 comprises a box portion 2 having a top wall 3, a bottom wall 4, and four side walls 5. Each of the side walls 5 is connected to two adjacent side walls 5, the top wall 3, and the bottom wall 4, so that an enclosed box portion 2 is formed. While it should be clear to those skilled in the art that any shape of box portion 2 can be utilized in the present invention, a rectangular conformation has been chosen for the preferred embodiment for ease of manufacturing.

[0020] The integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 of the present invention has a first opening 6 through which the new tissues 7 are withdrawn. The first opening 6 will most often be formed in the top wall 3. At least one of the side walls 5 or the bottom wall 4 includes a second opening 8 to receive waste tissues 9 being reinserted into the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1.

[0021] Inside the box portion 2, a moveable barrier 10 is positioned to segregate new tissues 7 from used tissues 9. The barrier 10 moves within the box portion 2 from one end to the other as the new tissues 7 are removed for use and the used tissues 9 are inserted into the second opening 8 after use. The barrier 10 is moved by the force exerted when the used tissues 9 are inserted into the second opening 8.

[0022] The second opening 8 includes a self-closing retaining means 11 such as a folding flap or a slotted plastic film through which the waste tissue 9 is inserted. The self-closing retaining means 11 prevents the waste tissue 9 from falling back out of the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 after it has been reinserted.

[0023] In use, the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 provides a means to dispose of used tissue 9 after use by the consumer. The receptacle 1 offers an integrated means to insert used tissues 9. A user removes a clean tissue 7 from the top of the tissue box 2. After using the new tissue 7, the person can conveniently insert the waste tissue 9 into the receptacle 1. The receptacle 1 fills up at the same rate the clean product 7 is removed. The product container 2 is therefore minimized in size while having significantly greater function than other products. The invention is easily made with the existing production line that makes the tissue box and bonds a plastic liner to the top surface for ease of tissue dispensing. The same materials that are used for a normal product box are used for the integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 of the present invention.

[0024] This integrated dispensing and disposal receptacle 1 of the present invention can be used in many different varieties, in both sizes and shapes of containers as well as product inside. Examples of products would include tissues (to especially aid allergy sufferers), sanitary and hygiene products, household and automotive items, and food products such as gum. The invention is of most benefit where normal waste receptacles are sparse such as when camping, on a bus, car, boat or plane, or where the waste receptacles are inconvenient for the consumer.

[0025] The above disclosure is not intended as limiting. Those skilled in the art will readily observe that numerous modifications and alterations of the device may be made while retaining the teachings of the invention. Accordingly, the above disclosure should be construed as limited only by the restrictions of the appended claims.