Title:
Manual material collection bag kit with internally attached cleansing towelette
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A manual material bag collection kit comprising a disposable bag container and a cleansing towelette removably attached on an inside surface of the bag, that is useful for the collection of unsavory material and the cleansing of the collector, and designed such that the collector inserts a hand into the collection bag, collects the material, reverses the collection bag to encompass the collected material, and removes the attached towelette for cleansing.



Inventors:
Longo, Jeffery S. (Jacksonville, FL, US)
Longo, Kim L. (Jacksonville, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/346972
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/03/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D83/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, DEAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jeffery Longo - Kim Longo (Jacksonville, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A manual material bag collection kit comprising: a disposable, reversible, flexible bag container having a mouth opening, and a cleansing towelette removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container.

2. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 1, wherein the cleansing towelette is pre-moistened with a wet cleanser, the towelette having a surface in direct contact with the inside surface of the bag container, thereby trapping moisture between the surface of the towelette and the inside surface of the bag container to attach the towelette to the inside surface of the bag container.

3. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 2, wherein the wet cleanser is sanitizing or antimicrobial.

4. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 1, wherein the mouth opening is sealed.

5. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 1, further comprising a means for sealing the mouth opening of the bag container after the bag container is used.

6. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 5, wherein the means for sealing the mouth opening of the bag container is adhesive.

7. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 1, wherein the bag container, or cleansing towelette, or both, is biodegradable or compostable.

8. A manual material bag collection kit comprising a disposable, reversible, flexible bag container having a mouth opening, and a sealed packet removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container and containing a cleansing towelette.

9. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, wherein the sealed packet is attached with an adhesive.

10. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, wherein the sealed packet has an outer edge, the outer edge being heat or pressure sealed to the inside surface of the bag container to attach the sealed packet to the inside surface of the bag container.

11. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, wherein the mouth opening is sealed.

12. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, further comprising a means for sealing the mouth opening of the bag container after the bag container is used.

13. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, wherein the cleansing towelette is pre-moistened with a wet cleanser.

14. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 13, wherein the wet cleanser is sanitizing or antimicrobial.

15. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, wherein the bag container, sealed packet, cleansing towelette, or a combination thereof, is biodegradable or compostable.

16. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 8, further comprising a pet toy, chewable dog treat, or a packet of grooming oil, or a combination thereof, removably attached to the inner surface of the bag container.

17. The manual material bag container kit of claim 8, wherein the bag container has another inside surface, and further comprising a pet toy, chewable dog treat, a packet of grooming oil or a combination thereof, removably attached to the inside surface of the container bag or the other inside surface of the container bag.

18. A manual material bag collection kit comprising a disposable flexible bag container having a mouth opening and an internal pocket, and a cleansing towelette removably contained inside the internal pocket.

19. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, wherein the cleansing towelette is further contained in a sealed packet inside the internal pocket.

18. 18. (canceled)

19. 19. (canceled)

20. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, wherein the bag container, cleansing towelette, or both, is biodegradable or compostable.

21. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, wherein the cleansing towelette is pre-moistened with a wet cleanser.

22. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, further comprising a pet toy, a chewable dog treat, a packet of grooming oil, or a combination thereof, removably attached to the inner surface of the bag container.

23. The manual material bag container kit of claim 18, wherein the bag container has another inside surface, and further comprising a pet toy, a chewable dog treat, a packet of grooming oil or a combination thereof, removably attached to the inside surface of the container bag or the other inside surface of the container bag.

24. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, wherein the mouth opening is sealed.

25. The manual material collection bag kit of claim 18, further comprising a means for sealing the mouth opening of the bag container after the bag container is used.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the manual collection of unsavory materials, and more particularly to manual material collection bags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an economical, efficient, convenient and simple protective and cleansing means for the manual collection of unsavory material, its disposal, and the personal cleansing of the collector after collection.

The invention addresses the collection of odious, foul, repulsive, repellant, vile, disgusting, offensive, unpleasant, or otherwise unsavory material that the material collector does not desire to directly contact, and, if direct contact should occur, be cleansed of the material. It particularly addresses the collection of unsanitary and unhygienic material that presents the opportunity to contaminate or infect the collector with bacteria, viruses, germs, or a transmittable illness or disease. The invention especially addresses concerns related to the collection of pet waste, e.g. pet feces.

The collection of unsanitary and unhygienic material is of concern in the pet industry which encompasses both dogs and cats, dog owners that number in the millions, and professional dog walkers. Legislation in many areas has mandated the collection and proper disposal of pet waste in public and private areas. The collection and disposal of pet waste inherently involves issues and needs relating to cleanliness, personal hygiene and environmental awareness.

Other areas of material collection to which the present invention is suited are where contamination of the material to be collected is of concern, such as forensic evidence. Also, the present invention is suited to the collection of material by a person who may have a transmittable illness or disease.

Prior means for the collection of unsanitary and unhygienic material include, for instance, that described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,481 issued to Columbo, et al. This patent discloses a canine pet waste recovery and disposal kit that consists of an outer packaging about a flexible, re-sealable bag that loosely contains an absorbent towel, a pre-moistened towelette, and a dog treat. The user of the kit opens the outer packaging and then the resealable bag; removes the towel, towelette and treat from the bag; collects the waste with the towel; and drops the towel and waste in the bag. The user then wipes his or her hands with the towelette. This kit, however, requires the removal of the outer packaging, then removal of the towelette from the bag and placing it elsewhere before collecting the waste and, thus, presents the risk that the towelette may become lost or become contaminated with the waste.

A drawback to the recovery and disposal kit described in the Columbo patent is the many steps required in handling the unsanitary and unhygienic material and disposing of the material within the bag. The outer packaging of the kit is opened, the re-sealable bag is opened, the contained items are removed and placed elsewhere, a towel is used to collect the waste material, the waste material and towel are placed in the bag, the cleansing packet is located where it was placed after removal from the bag and retrieved for use, the hand is cleaned with the towelette, the used towelette and its packet are placed back within the bag, and the bag is resealed and disposed of. The many steps involved in handling this type of kit are cumbersome and can lead to contact with the unsanitary and unhygienic material. Further, the Columbo patent does not describe the presence of a means of sanitizing.

Currently, there apparently is no item on the market that provides convenient and simple manual collection of unsavory material with protection and cleansing means for the collector; none for the collection of unsanitary and unhygienic material; or, most particularly, for providing for personal hygiene in connection with the collection and disposal of pet waste.

Thus, there is a need for a convenient and simple means for the collection of unsavory (particularly unsanitary and unhygienic) material that does not expose the collector to potential contamination (or the material to contamination from the collector) while keeping a cleansing towelette from possible contamination yet readily available for the collector's hygiene.

The present invention addresses this need for a simple and convenient means for manually collecting unsavory material that protects the collector from contact with the material and also provides a readily available and non-contaminated cleansing means to the collector.

A second object of the present invention is to provide a self-contained collection bag kit for the collection of unsavory (in particular unsanitary and unhygienic) material and for personal hygiene in the collection process.

A further object is to provide a collection bag kit that affords protection and premoistened cleansing means to a person collecting unsavory material.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a collection bag kit that is environmentally friendly by means of producing the invention with materials that are biodegradable or compostable.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a collection bag kit that has a reversible bag container that protects the person collecting the material and an internally attached cleansing towelette from possible contact and contamination and then, after collection, presents the towelette for ready use by the collector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a manual material collection bag kit comprising a disposable, reversible and flexible bag container with a mouth opening, and a cleansing towelette removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container.

Attachment of a cleansing towelette to an inside surface of the bag container provides protection for the cleansing towelette, minimizing the risk of it contacting and being contaminated with the material being collected, or being misplaced, and for it to be conveniently accessible to the user.

The manual material collection bag kit is designed such that the user thereof inserts his or hand through the mouth opening into the bag container to substantially cover the hand. The user retrieves the material to be collected with the covered hand. The outer surface of the bag container contacts the material thus protecting the user's hand from direct contact with the material as the user collects it with their hand inside the bag container.

After collecting the material with the hand inside the bag container, the user, with his or other hand, grasps the open edges of the bag container, and pulls the bag down and around the hand holding the collected material, thereby reversing and turning the bag container inside out. When the bag container is inverted, the collected material is contained in the bag. And the users hand is on the outside.

The cleansing towelette being attached to an inner surface of the bag container is protected from contact and contamination with the collected material during the collection process. Once the bag container is turned inside out, the attached cleansing towelette is on the outside of the bag, exposed and conveniently accessible for removal and use.

Thus, the present invention provides an economical, efficient and sanitary means for the manual collection of unsavory material, (particularly unsanitary and unhygienic material), its disposal, and the subsequent cleansing of the person collecting the material.

The manual material collection bag kit of the present invention may be made of biodegradable or compostable material. Thus, the present invention may be made and used environmentally responsibly.

Typical uses for the invention include the collection and disposal of material that the collector considers odious, foul, repulsive, repellant, vile, disgusting, offensive, unpleasant, or otherwise unsavory material that the collector does not desire to contact, and particularly unsanitary and unhygienic material, such as pet waste (e.g. pet feces), material from pet body locations (mouth, anus, feet, etc.), human waste (e.g. human feces), rotted fruit and other food crops, items covered in dirt or soiled, fish, road kill-dead animals, spoiled food, dung, litter, trash, and garbage, dead birds, rodents, compost, dropped food, and any type of spent-mutilated-fungus laden item.

In addition, the present invention may be utilized in other areas of material collection where contamination of the material by the collector is of concern and personal hygiene after collection is complete is desired. Such additional uses include the collection of forensic evidence, as an example, and the collection of material by a person that has a transmittable disease or illness.

For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other and further embodiments, reference is made to the following description taken in conjunction with the Figures, the scope of which is set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic of an embodiment of the invention comprising a bag container having attached to an inside surface a sanitizing wipe.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the embodiment taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In preparing the preferred embodiments of the present invention, various alternatives may be used to facilitate the objectives of the invention. These embodiments are presented to aid in an understanding of the invention and are not intended to, and should not be construed to, limit the invention in any way. All alternatives, modifications and equivalents that may become obvious to those of ordinary skill upon a reading of the present disclosure are included within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, this disclosure is not a primer on processes or materials for making bag containers, towelettes, packets, or manual collection bag kits; basic concepts known to those skilled in the art have not been set forth in detail. Readers are referred to appropriate and available texts for further details on these subjects.

Briefly stated, the manual material collection bag kit of the present invention comprises a disposable, reversible, flexible bag container along with a cleansing towelette that is removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container.

A particular preferred embodiment that illustrates the invention is diagrammed by FIGS. 1 and 2. The collection kit of this embodiment includes a generally rectangular flexible bag container 1 which has removably attached to an inside surface 2 a generally rectangular packet 3 with its outer edges 4 and 4a pressured sealed to the inside surface 2 of the bag container. The packet 3 contains a sanitizing wipe 5 with antimicrobial solution. The bag container 1 has a mouth opening 6 that is sealed with an adhesive 7. Opposite the mouth opening is the bottom edge 8 of the bag container. FIG. 2 further shows the attachment of the outer edges 4 and 4a of packet 3, containing the sanitizing wipe 5, to an inside surface 2 of the bag container 1.

To collect material using the collection kit diagrammed by FIGS. 1 and 2, the user opens the bag container, inserts his or hand into the bag through the mouth opening. With the bag container substantially covering the hand, the user retrieves the material to be collected (e.g. pet waste). The outer surface of the bag contacts the material thus protecting the user's hand from direct contact with the material as the user collects it with their hand inside the bag. After collecting the material with the hand inside the bag container, the user, with his or her other hand, grasps the edges of the bag about the mouth opening, and pulls the bag down and around the hand holding the collected material, thereby inverting, or reversing, the bag container, turning it inside out. When the bag container is inverted, the collected material is encompassed in what is now the inside of the bag container and the hand is on the outside. The attached cleansing towelette or wipe is also now on the outside of the bag container, exposed and accessible for retrieval and use. After using the sanitizing wipe, the user may place it in the bag container with the collected material, and dispose of the bag containing the collected material and used towelette or wipe.

Having illustrated the present invention by describing a specific preferred embodiment with reference to the drawings, various alternate illustrative embodiments are now described.

The disposable bag container employed in the present invention has a mouth opening. The mouth opening is of sufficient size to permit the intended user to insert a hand into the bag container. The mouth opening may be initially sealed or open. Opposite the mouth opening is the bottom edge or side of the collection bag container.

The bag container is disposable. The bag container is reversible, or invertible, such that it may be turned inside out to encompass collected material. The bag container also is flexible to facilitate the grasping, picking up, and collection of material.

The disposal bag container employed in the present invention may be of standard construction, with the exception that a cleansing towelette is removably attached to an inside surface of the bag. The bag container may be made of any suitable flexible material. Generally, the material will be a film sheet. It is preferable that the material be moisture proof and odor impermeable. Such materials include polymer blend plastic material, particularly polyethylene or polypropylene.

For environmental reasons, it is preferred that the bag container be made of material that is biodegradable; more preferably, a material that is compostable. A biodegradable material is any material made of a bio-base (such as corn, wheat, potatoes, etc.) which, when disposed of after use, will be decomposed completely by micro-organisms generally present in the earth into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. Preferably, the biodegradable material meets one or more of the definitions set forth in The European Norm EN13432, Japanese Greenpla Standard and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) D6400-99 standards.

A compostable material is a material that will biodegrade in, or otherwise become part of, usable compost (e.g., soil-conditioning material) in a safe or timely manner in an appropriate composting program.

Biodegradable and compostable bags and bag material that are suitable in the manufacture of the present invention include those available from Biocorp, Inc., Becker, Minn.; BIOgroupUSA, Jacksonville, Fla.; and BioBag International, Askim, Norway. These materials employ Mater-Bi™ materials which are a family of biodegradable thermoplastic materials manufactured by Novamont SpA, Novara, Italy.

The bag container should be large enough to substantially cover the intended user's hand, and may be manufactured in a variety of sizes to accommodate different hand sizes. The bag may be of generally rectangular shape, mitten shaped, gloved shaped, or a similar shape. A preferred bag container is a bag of generally rectangular shape, made of a flexible material that is also resistant to tearing, and large enough to cover the user's hand at least to the wrist (e.g. approximately 25.40 centimeters (10 inches) wide×38.10 centimeters (15 inches) long).

The bag container may also have a folded or pleated bottom side that spreads apart to more easily accommodate the user's hand. The sides of the bag container may be similarly folded or pleated.

The bag container also may have sleeves located inside and along the bottom side for the user to insert a thumb, finger, fingers, or a combination thereof.

The bag container also may have excess material near the opening to help grasp and pull to invert the bag container while grasping and holding the collected material.

The bag container has a mouth opening that initially may be sealed completely or be left open. It is preferred that the bag container be initially sealed. If completely sealed, means are provided for the user to readily open the bag container. Any ready open sealing means of any suitable mechanical (including heat or pressure sealing, and laser transmission welding) or adhesive type may be employed.

For ease of manufacture, preferred is an adhesive seal. Preferred adhesive seals include seals employing glue, tape, an UV curable adhesive material, or a methacrylate, acrylic, polyurethane, cyanocrylate or similar compound specifically formulated for bonding. Particularly preferred ready open seal means include a perforation along an adhesive seal that can be grasped and pulled in a side-to-opposite side manner in order to open the mouth.

Other suitable ready open seals include those commonly used on plastic sandwich or storage bags, such as a mechanical method type of a zipper seal (a raised ridge on one inner side that fits inside a groove on an opposite inner side), a slider zipper (that uses the same raised ridge and inside groove, but seals by sliding a tab down the length of the opening), or a twist tie.

To prevent spillage or leakage of material collected or the release of odor from the bag container before its disposal, a means for sealing or resealing the collection bag container once the collected material is inside the inverted bag is preferably provided. If the bag container is initially provided sealed, the resealing means may be the same, different or integral with the initial sealing means. Such means include those described above as well as a mechanical zipper seal of double formation such that it is operable to seal the bag container before use then, when the bag container is inverted to encompass the unsavory material, to reseal the bag container. A double formation sealing means is disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,808,175, issued to Hansen, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference. A drawstring or handle ties, such as are commonly used on kitchen trash bags, also may be employed. A twist tie for sealing the bag container after collecting material may be included if the design deems so for closure.

Other suitable seals include a pull away tape attached on the outside of the bag container which, when the bag is inverted, would be located on the inside near the mouth opening of the bag container. At this point, the tape covering would be pulled away exposing the adhesive tape, and the sides of the bag container near the mouth opening could then be pressed together to re-seal the bag container.

In the present invention, a cleansing towelette, or wipe, is removably attached to an inside surface of the disposable bag container. More than one towelette may be included. If more than one towelette is included, it may be attached to the same or a different inside surface of the bag container. The cleansing towelette is preferably pre-moistened with a wet cleanser, such as water; more preferably with a sanitizing or antimicrobial solution or gel.

The cleansing towelette, or wipe, may be made of standard construction and of standard material, including paper, cloth, and non-woven fabric comprised of synthetic fibers or natural fibers, and foamed material. The towelette may be a single ply or multiply sheet, or sponge like. Preferably for environmental reasons, the towelette or wipe (and its associated packet, if any) is made of biodegradable or compostable material. If the towelette is pre-moistened, it should be made of material that is absorbent of the cleanser, solution or gel employed to pre-moisten it.

The cleansing towelette or wipe maybe any type that is generally available. It is preferred that the towelette or wipe be individual sealed in its own packet container. If it is not sealed in its own packet container, and the cleansing towelette is pre-moistened, then the bag container preferably is sealed to prevent moisture loss.

The material for the packet, if the cleansing wipe is pre-moistened, should be moisture proof, and preferably odor impermeable. The same or different materials as used to make the collection bag may be used, if suitable.

Any sealing means of any suitable type may be employed to seal the cleansing towelette or wipe in the packet. The seal can be by means of heat or pressure sealing, or laser transmission sealing, or adhesive once the cleansing wipe in is inside the packet. Preferably, the packet is readily openable by tearing or by providing a ready open seal.

The towelette, or wipe, may be unscented or scented with any desired scent such as lemon, lavender, citrus, coconut, cherry, strawberry, and other pleasant natural scents.

The cleansing wipe packet may be removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container by means of heat or pressure sealing, or laser transmission sealing the outer edges of the packet to the bag container, or by means of the packet having an adhesive on the outside of the packet and the packet being adhered to the bag container.

In embodiments of the present invention where the cleansing towelette or wipe is not within a packet, or other enclosure separate from the bag container, it may be removably attached directly to an inside surface of the bag container by any suitable means. Such suitable means include placing a cleansing towelette pre-moistened with a wet cleanser directly against an inside surface of the bag container. When the surface of the pre-moistened towelette and the inside surface of the bag container are in direct contact, moisture from the towelette is trapped between the two surfaces, binding the two surfaces together. In this embodiment, the bag container is completely sealed and moisture proof to prevent moisture loss. If the moisture between the pre-moistened towelette and the inside surface of the bag container should evaporate or otherwise escape, the surface to surface adhesion would fail and the towelette would no longer be attached to an inner surface of the bag container.

Another preferred means of removably attaching the cleansing towelette or wipe to an inside surface of the bag container is to provide a pocket for it inside the bag container. A pocket may be formed by placing the cleansing towelette, or a packet containing the towelette, against an inside surface of the bag container material, laying a sheet of the bag material on top of the cleansing towelette or packet, and then heat or pressure sealing, or laser transmission sealing the bag materials together. A perforation may be provided for tear-away access to the cleansing wipe or packet once the bag container is inverted and the pocket is accessible for removing the cleansing towelette. The provision of a pocket may also be accomplished by using an adhesive to adhere the bag material sheet to the inside surface of the bag container.

Other items may be included in the collection bag kit depending on its intended function. For example, if the collection kit is intended to collect dog waste, a chewable dog treat or a packet of grooming oil (e.g. an animal skin and coat food supplement oil) may be included. An environmental friendly non-hazardous pet toy, that may make a noise, may also be included. To protect an included item from possible contact with the material being collected and possible misplacement, and to have it readily accessible, it is preferred that the item (or items) is removably attached to an inside surface of the bag container. If the bag container has more than one inside surface, the additional item may be removably attached to the same inside surface to which the towelette is attached or a different inside surface. Attachment of any additional item may be by any suitable means, including those means suitable for removably attaching a towelette to the inside surface of the bag container. As with the bag container and cleansing towelette, it is preferred that all included items are made of biodegradable or compostable material.

Having thus described and exemplified the invention with a certain degree of particularity, it should be appreciated that the following claims are not to be so limited but are to be afforded a scope commensurate with the wording of each element of the claim and equivalents thereof.