Title:
REUSABLE PACKAGE FOR ROLLED PAPER PRODUCTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A large count package comprising an overwrap and a plurality of products. The overwrap comprises an opening and wherein a drawstring is positioned around the opening and wherein the drawstring comprises a pull region. The overwrap comprises a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3.



Inventors:
Lewis, Robert Drennan (West Chester, OH, US)
Roetker, Connie Marie (Fairfield, OH, US)
Walther, Rachael Eden (Union, KY, US)
Maclam, Dennis Lee (Mason, OH, US)
Morris III, Samuel James (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/202654
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
09/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/389, 206/443, 206/459.5
International Classes:
B65D85/00; B65D85/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A large count package comprising an overwrap and a plurality of products; wherein the overwrap comprises an opening and wherein a drawstring is positioned around the opening and wherein the drawstring comprises a pull region; and wherein the overwrap comprises a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3.

2. A large count package according to claim 1 wherein the products are paper towel products.

3. A large count package according to claim 1 wherein the individual absorbent paper products have a height of from about 4″ to about 13″ and a diameter of from about 3″ to about 7″.

4. A large count package according to claim 1 wherein there are from about 2 to about 36 products.

5. A large count package according to claim 1 wherein the opening is sealed to provide a sealed opening.

6. A large count package according to claim 5 wherein the sealed opening is perforated.

7. A large count package according to claim 1 wherein the package is usable as a garbage can liner.

8. A large count package comprising an overwrap and a plurality of products; wherein the overwrap comprises an opening and wherein the overwrap further comprises two or more ears extending from the opening; and wherein the overwrap comprises a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3.

9. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the products are paper towel products.

10. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the individual absorbent paper products have a height of from about 4″ to about 13″ and a diameter of from about 3″ to about 7″.

11. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein there are from about 2 to about 36 products.

12. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the opening is sealed to provide a sealed opening.

13. A large count package according to claim 12 wherein the sealed opening is perforated.

14. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the overwrap is usable as a garbage can liner.

15. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the overwrap has a thickness of from about 0.001 cm to about 0.005 cm.

16. A large count package according to claim 15 wherein the overwrap has a thickness of from about 0.002 cm to about 0.004 cm.

17. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the overwrap has a puncture toughness of greater than about 7 lbs.

18. A large count package according to claim 17 wherein the overwrap has a puncture toughness of from about 7 in-lbs to about 20 in-lbs.

19. A large count package according to claim 8 wherein the overwrap has an MD tensile strength of greater than about 2000 psi.

20. A large count package according to claim 19 wherein the overwrap has an MD tensile strength of from about 2000 psi to about 3500 psi.

21. A method of marketing large count packages of rolled absorbent paper products wherein the method comprises the steps of: providing a plurality of rolled absorbent paper products in an overwrap wherein the overwrap comprises an opening.

22. A method according to claim 21 further comprising the step of providing instructions to the consumer that the overwrap may be reused as a garbage bag.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of provisional U.S. Application No. 60/992,730, filed Dec. 6, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a package for rolled absorbent paper products, particularly a package that performs a second function as a trash bag.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Consumers of absorbent paper products, especially or paper towel sanitary tissue products such as paper towels or toilet paper, may prefer to purchase large count packages (LCPs) instead of single units because consumers often find it more useful to purchase a large number of products at once in order to avoid the inconvenience of having to make repeated trips to the store. Other consumers may prefer to purchase the large-count packages and keep large quantities of product on-hand in order to prevent running out of product at inopportune times.

Although large count packages of paper towel products are well known in the art, a problem that plagues producers and consumers alike is the large amount of extraneous packaging material that is used. For example, the overwrap of a large count package is often simply discarded by the consumers after removal of the products from the package. Unfortunately virtually all products sold in large quantities require a large amount of packaging material (such as overwrap) to secure the products together. However, the overwrap is normally discarded once the product has been used. Additionally, many large count packages are prone to having units fall out of the opening once units are removed due to the tearing of the overwrap which a consumer must do in order to access the product. Additionally, some users find that large count packages may become unwieldy as the number of units inside becomes lower.

Accordingly, there is a need for a package of rolled absorbent paper products wherein the package provides additional benefits to the user (i.e., is not simply discarded) while still properly securing the individual products for transportation and subsequent retail display and sale.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the present invention is directed to a large count package comprising an overwrap and a plurality of products. The overwrap comprises an opening and wherein a drawstring is positioned around the opening and wherein the drawstring comprises a pull region. The overwrap comprises a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3.

In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a large count package comprising an overwrap and a plurality of products. The overwrap comprises an opening and wherein the overwrap further comprises two or more ears extending from the opening. The overwrap comprises a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3.

In yet another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method of marketing large count packages of rolled absorbent paper products wherein the method comprises the steps of: providing a plurality of rolled absorbent paper products in an overwrap wherein the overwrap comprises an opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an individual rolled paper product that may be used in the package of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a package comprising a plurality of individual rolled paper products of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an embodiment of a package that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a package comprising a plurality of individual rolled paper products of the present invention.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of an embodiment of a package comprising a plurality of individual rolled paper products of the present invention.

FIG. 5B is a top view of an embodiment of a package that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of an embodiment of a package comprising a plurality of individual rolled paper products of the present invention.

FIG. 6B is a top view of an embodiment of a package that may be used in the present invention.

FIG. 7A is a schematic view of an embodiment of the package according to the present invention being used as a garbage bag.

FIG. 7B is a schematic view of an embodiment of the package according to the present invention being used as a garbage bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Definitions

As used herein, “product” refers to any article or item which may be provided in product packaging and/or which may be secured in an overwrap and/or large count package. In a first exemplary embodiment the product may be a laundry product such as a laundry detergent and/or fabric softener. In one embodiment, a product refers to a paper product which may be selected from the group consisting of: disposable absorbent articles, bathroom tissue, napkins, paper towel products, facial tissues, wipes, the like, and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, a product refers to a feminine care product which may be selected from the group consisting of: disposable absorbent articles, sanitary napkins, tampons, interlabial products, incontinence articles, liners, the like, and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, a product refers to a baby care product which may be selected from the group consisting of: disposable absorbent articles, diapers, training pants, incontinence articles, wipes, the like, and combinations thereof.

As used herein, “paper product” refers to any formed, fibrous structure products, traditionally, but not necessarily, comprising cellulose fibers. Exemplary paper products are described supra.

As defined herein, “product package” refers to any one or more products enclosed in any one or more product packaging media. In an exemplary embodiment product packaging media may be selected from the group consisting of: overwrap, box, carton, container, the like, and combinations thereof.

As used herein, “overwrap” refers to any material that may be used to secure two or more products, paper products, or product packages into a unitary article for transport, and display and/or sale at a retail location. In an exemplary embodiment, an overwrap may be provided around a plurality of products and/or product packages to provide a large count package. In one embodiment an overwrap may be plastic. In some embodiments an overwrap may be translucent. In other embodiments an overwrap may be opaque. In yet other embodiments an overwrap may be provided with one or more visual elements. In an exemplary embodiment a visual element may be selected from the group consisting of: logos, trademarks, sayings, slogans, pictures, character renditions, photographs, product samples, product representations, holograms, shapes, words, letters, the like, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments an overwrap is a unitary member. In other embodiments, an overwrap is a bag.

As used herein, “large count package” or “LCP” refers to a container or package having a plurality of products and/or product packages secured therein. In some embodiments, a LCP provides an outerwrap to secure the plurality of products and/or product packages.

As used herein, “roll paper product” refers to any paper product that is wound about an axis. In an embodiment, a roll paper product is provided by winding a paper product around a core.

As used herein, “ply” or “plies”, as used herein, means an individual fibrous structure or sheet of fibrous structure, optionally to be disposed in a substantially contiguous, face-to-face relationship with other plies, forming a multi-ply fibrous structure. It is also contemplated that a single fibrous structure can effectively form two “plies” or multiple “plies”, for example, by being folded on itself. In one embodiment, the ply has an end use as a tissue-towel paper product. A ply may comprise one or more wet-laid layers, air-laid layers, and/or combinations thereof. If more than one layer is used, it is not necessary for each layer to be made from the same fibrous structure. Further, the layers may or may not be homogenous within a layer. The actual makeup of a fibrous structure product ply is generally determined by the desired benefits of the final tissue-towel paper product, as would be known to one of skill in the art. The fibrous structure may comprise one or more plies of non-woven materials in addition to the wet-laid and/or air-laid plies.

As used herein, “fibrous structure” means an arrangement of fibers produced in any papermaking machine known in the art to create a ply of paper. “Fiber” means an elongate particulate having an apparent length greatly exceeding its apparent width. More specifically, and as used herein, fiber refers to such fibers suitable for a papermaking process. The present invention contemplates the use of a variety of paper making fibers, such as, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, as well as any other suitable fibers, starches, and combinations thereof. Paper making fibers useful in the present invention include cellulosic fibers commonly known as wood pulp fibers. Applicable wood pulps include chemical pulps, such as Kraft, sulfite and sulfate pulps; mechanical pulps including groundwood, thermomechanical pulp; chemithermomechanical pulp; chemically modified pulps, and the like. Chemical pulps, are particularly well suited in tissue towel embodiments since they are known to those of skill in the art to impart a superior tactical sense of softness to tissue sheets made therefrom. Pulps derived from deciduous trees (hardwood) and/or coniferous trees (softwood) can be utilized herein. Such hardwood and softwood fibers can be blended or deposited in layers to provide a stratified web. Exemplary layering embodiments and processes of layering are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,994,771 and 4,300,981. Additionally, fibers derived from non-wood pulp such as cotton linters, bagesse, and the like, can be used. Additionally, fibers derived from recycled paper, which may contain any or all of the pulp categories listed above, as well as other non-fibrous materials such as fillers and adhesives used to manufacture the original paper product may be used in the present web. In addition, fibers and/or filaments made from polymers, specifically hydroxyl polymers, may be used in the present invention. Non-limiting examples of suitable hydroxyl polymers include polyvinyl alcohol, starch, starch derivatives, chitosan, chitosan derivatives, cellulose derivatives, gums, arabinans, galactans, and combinations thereof. Additionally, other synthetic fibers such as rayon, lyocel, polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene fibers can be used within the scope of the present invention. Further, such fibers may be latex bonded. Other materials are also intended to be within the scope of the present invention as long as they do not interfere or counter act any advantage presented by the instant invention.

As used herein, “Machine Direction” or “MD” means the direction parallel to the flow of the fibrous structure through the papermaking machine and/or product manufacturing equipment.

As used herein, “Cross Machine Direction” or “CD” means the direction perpendicular to the machine direction in the same plane of the fibrous structure and/or fibrous structure product comprising the fibrous structure.

As used herein, “Basis Weight” or “BW” means the weight per unit area of a sample reported in lbs/3000 ft2 or g/m2.

In one embodiment, the absorbent paper product substrate may be manufactured via a wet-laid paper making process. In other embodiments, the absorbent paper product substrate may be manufactured via a through-air-dried paper making process or foreshortened by creping or by wet microcontraction. In some embodiments, the resultant absorbent paper product plies may be differential density fibrous structure plies, wet laid fibrous structure plies, air laid fibrous structure plies, conventional fibrous structure plies, and combinations thereof. Creping and/or wet microcontraction are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,048,938, 5,942,085, 5,865,950, 4,440,597, 4,191,756, and 6,187,138.

Nonlimiting types of fibrous structures according to the present invention include conventionally felt-pressed fibrous structures; pattern densified fibrous structures; and high-bulk, uncompacted fibrous structures. The fibrous structures may be of a homogenous or multilayered (two or three or more layers) construction; and the sanitary tissue products made therefrom may be of a single-ply or multi-ply construction.

In one embodiment, the absorbent paper product is in the form of a rolled product. For example, the absorbent paper product is convolutely wound about a core or a void area where a core would be present, if one was present.

In one example, the absorbent paper product of the present invention is a pattern densified fibrous structure characterized by having a relatively high-bulk region of relatively low fiber density and an array of densified regions of relatively high fiber density. The high-bulk field is characterized as a field of pillow regions. The densified zones are referred to as knuckle regions. The knuckle regions exhibit greater density than the pillow regions. The densified zones may be discretely spaced within the high-bulk field or may be interconnected, either fully or partially, within the high-bulk field. In one embodiment, from about 8% to about 65% of the fibrous structure surface comprises densified knuckles, the knuckles may exhibit a relative density of at least 125% of the density of the high-bulk field. Processes for making pattern densified fibrous structures are well known in the art as exemplified in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,301,746, 3,974,025, 4,191,609 and 4,637,859.

The finished fibrous structure may exhibit regions of higher density compared to other regions within the finished fibrous structure. In other words, the finished fibrous structure may comprise a differential density fibrous structure.

The finished fibrous structure may be creped or uncreped and/or foreshortened or not. The finished fibrous structure may be a through-air-dried fibrous structure, a wet-pressed fibrous structure and/or a conventionally dried fibrous structure.

Rolled Paper Products

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary rolled paper product 10. In one embodiment, the rolled paper product of the present invention is a rolled paper towel product, such as the Bounty® product sold by the Procter & Gamble Co (Cincinnati, Ohio). In one embodiment, the rolled paper product has a height H of from about 4″ to about 13″. In another embodiment, the rolled paper product has a height H of from about 4″ to about 11″. In one embodiment, the rolled paper product has a diameter, Droll, of from about 3″ to about 7″.

Large Count Packages

Products, processes and means for packaging large-count products are well-known in the art. An exemplary large-count product package is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,428. Plastic garbage and trash bags for bulk waste material may be produced in film form from various polymers such as polyethylene. The films used for such bags often possess high strength characteristics such as puncture toughness and tensile strength. This may be contrasted to typical outerwrap packaging which is often relatively thin and has a relatively low strength compared to a garbage bag due to the less strenuous use of outerwrap packaging. Exemplary materials include linear low density polyethylenes. Suitable packaging means and materials may also be purchased from a vendor such as the PCMC Co. (Green Bay, Wis.) and the KPL Packaging Co. (Bologna, Italy).

Materials such as those illustrated and described herein as suitable for use in accordance with the present invention, as well as methods for making and characterizing the same are described in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,518,801 and 6,695,476. In one embodiment, a material is a low density polyethylene. In one embodiment the material has a thickness of from about 0.001 cm to about 0.005 cm. In another embodiment, the material has a thickness of from about 0.002 cm to about 0.004 cm. Such a material may be purchased from the Heritage Bag Company (Atlanta, Ga.) or from the Clorox Company (San Francisco, Calif.). In other embodiments, the bag has a puncture toughness of greater than about 7 lbs. In another embodiment, the bag has a puncture toughness of from about 7 in-lbs to about 20 in-lbs. In one embodiment, the bag has an MD tensile strength of greater than about 2000 psi. In another embodiment, the bag has an MD tensile strength of from about 2000 psi to about 3500 psi. Tensile strength is measured by ASTM D 882 method A. Puncture toughness is measured by providing a ¾ inch round steel plunger and pushing the plunger through a clamped area of the sample at a rate of about 20 inches per minute using an Instron Tester. The load to puncture of the film specimen is recorded in pounds and the energy to puncture is the integrated area under the load-elongation curve and is recorded in inch-pounds (in-lbs).

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary embodiment of the present invention overwrap 20 having an opening 30 and wherein the overwrap 20 further comprises a plurality of individual rolled paper products. In one embodiment, the overwrap 20 comprises from about 6 to about 24 individual rolled paper products. In another embodiment, the present invention overwrap 20 comprises from about 2 to about 36 individual rolled paper products. In another embodiment still, the present invention package comprises from about 6 to about 12 individual rolled paper products. The overwrap 20 may have filled dimensions (i.e., dimensions of an overwrap 20 containing full rolls of rolled paper products): In one embodiment, the package length, LP, is from about 8″ to about 28″. In another embodiment, the package height, HP, is from about 12″ to about 26″. In another embodiment, the package width, WP, is from about 8″ to about 28″. In other embodiments, the package has a volume of from about 1100 in3 to about 10000 in3. In other embodiments still, the package has a volume of from about 1500 in3 to about 8000 in3. As described supra, in some embodiments, the rolled absorbent paper products are rolled paper towel products. In other embodiments, the rolled absorbent paper products are toilet tissue products. In some embodiments, the volume of the package may exceed the volume occupied by the products. In other embodiments, the volume of the package is approximately equal to the volume occupied by the products. In an embodiment where the volume of the package exceeds the volume of the products occupying the package, the excess packaging may be mechanically, adhesively, or otherwise (as may be known in the art) contained, such that the products occupying the package are secured in place within the package. For example, the excess packaging may be folded over and then adhesively attached to another portion of the package.

The present invention overwrap 20 further comprises a drawstring 40 around the opening 30 wherein the drawstring 40 comprises a pull region 40a. In some embodiments, the drawstring 40 may be released to enlarge the area of the opening 30 so that a consumer may be able to open the overwrap 20 and retrieve individual rolled paper products therefrom. Conversely, in some embodiments, the drawstring may be pulled to reduce the area of the opening 30 after the package has been opened.

Surprisingly, it was found that consumers prefer the benefit of having a drawstring 40 with a pull region 40a around the overwrap 20 and the package having the dimensions described supra because the overwrap 20 may then be reused as a garbage bag. Packages and materials for making a package suitable for use as a garbage bag may be purchased commercially from Four Star Plastics (Beltsville, Md.) and Primepak Co. (Teaneck, N.J.).

FIG. 3 shows an exemplary embodiment of the overwrap 20 without having any products placed inside. In the exemplary embodiment, the empty overwrap 20 may be flattened such that the package has a flat-package height, HFP, and a flat-package length, LFP. In one embodiment, the flat-package height, HFP, is from about 9″ to about 40″. In another embodiment, the flat-package length, LFP, is from about 7″ to about 42″. In the exemplary embodiment, the drawstring 40 is provided such that the opening 30 may be fully extended to the full flat-package length, although in some embodiments the opening does not extend to the full flat-package length.

In some embodiments, the overwrap 20 that has been filled with individual rolled paper products may be sealed using any means known in the art. Exemplary processes and means for sealing packages are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,041,148, 5,015,325, 4,928,455, and 3,660,962. FIG. 4 shows an exemplary alternative embodiment of the overwrap 20 of FIG. 2. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 4, the overwrap 20, containing individual rolled paper products, is sealed at the opening, and the sealed opening is provided with perforations 45 to provide ease of opening for the consumer. Without wishing to be limited by theory, it is thought that retailers prefer to have packages which are sealed because this provides for easier displaying, storage, and transporting. In some embodiments, the overwrap 20 may comprise one or more indicia 60. In one embodiment, the indicia 60 may be selected from the group consisting of: logos, trademarks, artwork, drawings, pictures, instructions, directions, information, tips, guidelines, the like, and combinations thereof. For example, in one embodiment the indicia may instruct the consumer how to properly open the package to preserve the use of the drawstring.

FIG. 5A shows an exemplary embodiment of an alternative embodiment of a present invention overwrap 20. In the exemplary embodiment, the overwrap is provided around a plurality of products and/or product packages, such as rolled paper products. The overwrap 20 may be sealed shut or may be left open. In an embodiment wherein the overwrap is sealed shut, a plurality of perforations 45 may be provided such a consumer may tear the overwrap along the perforations 45 to access and/or remove products and/or product packages from the overwrap 20.

FIG. 5B shows an exemplary embodiment of the overwrap 20 of FIG. 5A upon removal of any product packages. Without wishing to be limited by theory, it is thought that by providing an overwrap 20 having ears 24 which may be used as ties to reclose the overwrap after and may thus provide consumers with the benefit of being able to reuse the overwrap 20 as a trash bag, or the like. It is thought that many consumers will appreciate, and take advantage of, the additional use of the package. An overwrap of the present invention may have any shape, size, and number of ears 24 that is suitable for the intended application.

FIG. 6A shows an exemplary embodiment of an alternative embodiment of a present invention overwrap 20 having ears 24. In the exemplary embodiment, the overwrap is provided around a plurality of products and/or product packages, such as rolled paper products wherein the overwrap is left open, but the product is secured by providing a mechanical mechanism 22. In one embodiment a mechanical mechanism may be selected from the group consisting of: clips, snaps, buttons, strings, ties, Velcro™, the like, and combinations thereof.

FIG. 6B shows an exemplary embodiment of the overwrap 20 of FIG. 5A upon removal of any product packages.

Method Describing Use of the Package

In some embodiments, the present invention is directed to a method of marketing large-count packages of rolled absorbent paper products wherein the method comprises the steps of: providing a plurality of rolled absorbent paper products in a package, the package comprising an opening and a drawstring around the opening. In another embodiment, the method further comprises the step of providing an indicium to the consumer that the package may be reused as a garbage bag. In another embodiment, the method further comprises the step of using the package as a garbage bag.

FIGS. 7A-7B show exemplary embodiments of an overwrap 20 according to the present invention being used as a garbage bag. Materials for garbage bags are described supra. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7A, the overwrap/garbage bag 20 having a drawstring 40 may be used as a so-called liner for a garbage can 29. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7B, the overwrap/garbage bag 20 having two or more ears 24 may be used as a so-called liner for a garbage can 29.

In another embodiment the overwrap 20 may be reused as a bag or holder for any purpose. For example, the overwrap 20 may be used as a reusable shopping bag or as a tote bag.

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.