Title:
Holder for plastic and paper bags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A holder for plastic and paper bags for receiving and retaining various types and sizes of bags for convenient storage for later re-use of the bags. The holder includes a container for plastic bags, the container including a top opening to receive collapsed or wadded plastic bags to be stored, and a bottom opening accessible to a user to allow withdrawal of a stored plastic bag for re-use. Al least one hook is provided on the holder for hanging plastic or paper bags having openings that define handles, so that the handles can be hung on the hooks. A spring clip can be provided on the outer surface of the container for receiving and holding folded paper bags for later re-use.



Inventors:
Jordan, Mary E. (West Chester, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/319899
Publication Date:
06/17/2004
Filing Date:
12/16/2002
Assignee:
JORDAN MARY E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/88.01
International Classes:
A47F13/08; (IPC1-7): A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alfred J. Mangels (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A holder for holding a plurality of bags for re-use, said holder comprising: a. a container for receiving and storing a plurality of plastic bags, the container including a first opening at an upper end of the container and into which plastic bags can be inserted, and a second, bottom opening spaced from the top opening and from which plastic bags that have been inserted into the container can be individually withdrawn for re-use; and b. means for mounting the holder for substantially vertical orientation of the container with the top opening of the container positioned above the bottom opening.

2. A holder in accordance with claim 1, including at least one support hook positioned adjacent the container for supporting bags having openings in a bag sidewall, wherein the sidewall openings are received on the at least one support hook to allow bags having sidewall openings to hang from the holder.

3. A holder in accordance with claim 2, wherein the at least one support hook is positioned below the bottom opening of the container.

4. A holder in accordance with claim 2, wherein the holder includes two support hooks.

5. A holder in accordance with claim 1, including a spring clip for receiving and holding flattened bags.

6. A holder in accordance with claim 5, wherein the spring clip is positioned on a container surface to hold bags against the container surface.

7. A holder in accordance with claim 6, wherein the spring clip is positioned on a front face of the container.

8. A holder in accordance with claim 7, wherein the spring clip includes a support ledge for vertically supporting edges of the bags held by the spring clip.

9. A holder in accordance with claim 7, wherein the spring clip has a width about one-half that of the container.

10. A holder in accordance with claim 1, wherein the container bottom opening faces outwardly away from a substantially vertical surface against which the holder is positioned.

11. A holder in accordance with claim 1, including mounting holes for mounting the holder to a surface.

12. A holder in accordance with claim 11, wherein the mounting holes are provided in a wall of the container.

13. A holder in accordance with claim 12, wherein the mounting holes are positioned laterally opposite the second opening of the container.

14. A holder in accordance with claim 1, including a mounting hook carried by the holder for mounting the holder on a door.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a holder for receiving and conveniently storing and rendering accessible for re-use grocery-type bags of various sizes and types. More particularly, the present invention relates to a bag holder that can be mounted on a substantially vertical surface and that can hold for convenient storage and for dispensing for re-use different sizes of plastic bags, paper bags without handles, and paper or plastic bags with handles.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] After bringing home and emptying bags containing purchases from different types of stores, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, and the like, a person often wishes to save the bags for re-use. Frequently, the bags are either stacked at random on a shelf, or placed in a drawer or in a cabinet. When stored in that fashion the bags are not segregated as to type, and one must root through the stack to find the type and size bag that is desired for re-use.

[0005] In addition to the inconvenience resulting from random arrangement of the bags, placing the bags on a shelf, or in a drawer or a cabinet, usually in a flat condition one on top of another, can take up considerable space that could be more conveniently and more effectively utilized for storing other items.

[0006] Although different styles of bag racks have been disclosed, most have been directed to convenient approaches to stacking or holding bags for use in commercial establishments. Additionally, many of the known racks are in the form of stands that sit on the floor, or are racks that can accommodate only limited sizes of specific types of bags. Such racks and stands are of limited use in the home environment because either they require floor space or they are not capable of holding different types and sizes of bags.

[0007] There is thus a need for a holder for use in the home and that holds bags of various sizes and types in a convenient location for ready re-use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a holder is provided for holding a plurality of bags for re-use. The holder includes a container for receiving and storing a plurality of plastic bags, the container having a first opening at an upper end of the container and into which plastic bags can be inserted, and a second, bottom opening spaced from the top opening and from which plastic bags that have been inserted into the container can be individually withdrawn for re-use. Means are provided for mounting the holder for substantially vertical orientation of the container with the top opening of the container positioned above the bottom opening.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the holder also includes at least one support hook positioned adjacent the container for supporting bags having openings in a bag sidewall, wherein the sidewall openings are received on the at least one support hook to allow bags having sidewall openings to hang from the holder.

[0010] In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, the holder also includes a spring clip for receiving and holding flattened bags.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of a holder for holding bags of various sizes and types.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the holder taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0013] Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown an embodiment of a holder 10 in accordance with the present invention. Holder 10 includes a rear panel 12 that is adapted to be positioned in a substantially vertical orientation, such as against a panel or against a surface of a door of a kitchen cabinet or another form of storage cabinet. Rear panel 12 can be flat and of generally rectangular form, as shown, defined by straight edges positioned perpendicularly to each other. Alternatively, it can be of a curved form, such as an ellipse, or some other curved form, if desired for aesthetic reasons. The thickness of rear panel 12 can be of any desired value, depending upon the material from which holder 10 is made. For example, if made from a substantially rigid plastic material, such as nylon, polystyrene, or the like, rear panel 12 can have a thickness of the order of about one-eighth inch. Alternatively, holder 10 can be formed from sheet metal, such as sheet aluminum, sheet steel that can be painted, sheet stainless steel, or the like.

[0014] Spaced from rear panel 12 is a front panel 14 that can also be a flat panel of generally rectangular form, as shown in the drawings. However, front panel 14 can also be curved to define a bowed cross section, in either the transverse or the longitudinal directions, or both, if desired for aesthetic reasons.

[0015] Positioned between each of rear panel 12 and front panel 14 and extending in a substantially longitudinal direction relative to those panels is a pair of laterally spaced side panels 16. Additionally, a bottom panel 18 extends transversely of and interconnects the lowermost ends of side panels 16 and also extends between rear panel 12 and front panel 14. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the arrangement of rear panel 12, front panel 14, side panels 16, and bottom panel 18 defines a tubular receptacle or container 20 that can have a generally rectangular cross section. Container 20 has a first opening 22 positioned at the upper end of holder 10 to allow materials to be placed within the container. First opening 22 can be inclined relative to rear panel 12, as shown, by forming front panel 14 to be shorter in a longitudinal direction than rear panel 12, to facilitate access to the interior of container 20.

[0016] A second opening 24 is provided in container 20 adjacent bottom panel 18 and extends through front panel 14. As shown in FIG. 1, second opening 24 can be of elongated, generally rectangular form having a major axis that extends in the direction of bottom panel 18. The longitudinal ends 26 of second opening 24 can be rounded, if desired, as shown in FIG. 1.

[0017] Extending downwardly from rear panel 12 are a pair of spaced hooks 28 that can be positioned below and adjacent to respective side panels 16 to allow items to be hung from holder 10. A gusset 30 can be provided between the downwardly-extending portion of hooks 28 and bottom panel 18 of container 20, if desired. Although a pair of hooks 28 is shown in FIG. 1, more or fewer hooks can be provided, such as a single hook centrally positioned along and extending below bottom panel 18, or three hooks including one adjacent each end of bottom panel 18 and one centrally positioned along bottom panel 18, and the like.

[0018] A retaining clip 32 is provided on the outwardly-facing surface of front panel 14. Clip 32 includes a first leg 34 that extends outwardly from front panel 14, and a second leg 36 that extends upwardly from first leg 34 and that has an upper end 38 that contacts and bears against front panel 14. First leg 34 defines a support ledge against which edges of items held by clip 32 can rest. Second leg 36 has a width less than that of container 20, and can have a width of approximately one-half the width of container 20.

[0019] Clip 32 is formed as a resilient member that provides a resilient, clamp-like holder, or a spring clip, for holding items against the outwardly-facing surface of front panel 14. Preferably, clip 32 has sufficient resilience to allow it to be deflected outwardly, away from front panel 14 a predetermined distance to hold a plurality of flat items in face-to-face or face-to-back relationship against front panel 14. The lateral extent, or width, of clip 32 can be any convenient width that is sufficient to hold the number, size, and type of items intended to be placed between clip 32 and front panel 14.

[0020] Holder 10 can be configured so that it can be hung vertically so that first opening 22 of container 20 faces in a generally upward direction and second opening 24 faces laterally outwardly from front panel 14. Accordingly, a U-shaped hangar 40 can be provided to fit over a door top edge. Hangar 40 includes a top panel 42 that is substantially perpendicular to rear panel 12 and extends in a rearward direction, away from front panel 14, and a leg 44 that extends downwardly from top panel 42 in a direction toward hooks 28. Hangar 40 is adapted to fit over the top of a door, such as, for example, a kitchen door or a cabinet door, to support holder 10 and thereby allow it to be supported by and to hang from the door top.

[0021] An alternative arrangement for supporting holder 10 in an operative position involves the provision in rear panel 12 of mounting holes to allow holder 10 to be secured to and held against a vertical surface, such as a panel or a door. When so configured, holder 10 need not include hangar 40. As shown in FIG. 1, a pair of laterally spaced mounting holes 46 can be provided in rear panel 12 at a position opposite second opening 24 to receive mounting screws and to allow a screwdriver, or the like, to be utilized to fasten holder 10 to the vertical surface. Alternatively, one or more similar holes (not shown) can be provided in rear panel 12 at a position adjacent to first opening 22, above the topmost edge of front panel 14.

[0022] In use, holder 10 is supported substantially vertically, so that first opening 22 faces in an upward direction. As noted above, holder 10 can be hung over a door top, or it can be secured to a door face or to a wall surface by screws. Plastic bags, such as crumpled bags 48 shown in FIG. 2, can be inserted into container 20 through first opening 22. The plastic bags need not be folded flat, nor need they be arranged in any particular manner relative to each other, and they can merely be wadded up and pushed or stuffed into first opening 22. When it is desired to retrieve a plastic bag for re-use, the lowermost bag within container 20 can be withdrawn by pulling it through and from second opening 24, which thereby serves as a dispensing opening for the plastic bags.

[0023] In addition to plastic bags, holder 10 can also receive and hold bags having handles, such as paper or plastic shopping bags. The handles can be looped over one or more hooks 28 of holder 10, so that one or more such handled bags hangs from holder 10 to allow ready access to the handled bags for re-use, as needed.

[0024] Further, holder 10 can also receive and hold one or more paper bags without handles. Such bags are preferably in flat form, such as by returning the bags to their flat condition before having been opened, by folding the bags to their original folded form. One or more such flattened bags can be held by clip 32 against front panel 14 in face-to-face or face-to-back relationship, to allow several such paper bags to be retained for ready removal and re-use.

[0025] Although particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended to encompass within the appended claims all such changes and modifications that fall with the scope of the present invention.