Title:
Receptacle liner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liner configured for insertion into a receptacle is provided. The liner includes an engagement member configured for removably securing the liner to the interior surface of a receptacle in a manner that permits the liner opening to receive material therethrough and so that the liner does not protrude beyond the opening of the receptacle or obscure the exterior surface of the receptacle.



Inventors:
Mackay, Rebecca Melvina (Boilings Springs, SC, US)
Application Number:
12/214455
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/19/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/495.11
International Classes:
B65D33/16; B65D35/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDWARDS, BRETT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
J. BENNETT MULLINAX, LLC (GREENVILLE, SC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A liner configured for insertion into a receptacle, the receptacle having an interior receptacle surface, an exterior receptacle surface, and a peripheral receptacle edge that defines a receptacle opening, said liner comprising: an interior liner surface; an exterior liner surface; a peripheral liner edge that defines a liner opening; and an engagement member disposed on said exterior liner surface, wherein when the liner is inserted in the receptacle, said engagement member removably secures said liner to the interior receptacle surface such that said liner opening remains capable of receiving material therethrough, and such that said liner does not extend beyond the receptacle opening and does not cover any portion of the exterior receptacle surface.

2. The liner of claim 1, wherein said liner is made of biodegradable material.

3. The liner of claim 1, wherein said liner is substantially made of paper.

4. The liner of claim 1, wherein said engagement member comprises at least one adhesive strip that is located adjacent said peripheral liner edge.

5. The liner of claim 1, wherein the exterior receptacle surface has a decorative design that is uncovered by said liner when said liner is inserted into the receptacle and removably secured to the interior receptacle surface by said engagement member.

6. The liner of claim 1, further comprising a flap extending from a portion of said peripheral liner edge, said flap being sufficiently large to cover said liner opening when said liner is full and said flap being capable of complete insertion into the receptacle when said liner is removably secured to the interior receptacle surface by said engagement member.

7. The liner of claim 6, wherein said engagement member is disposed in a location on said exterior liner surface to allow for engagement of said flap when said flap is covered over said liner opening.

8. The liner of claim 6, wherein said flap comprises a flap engagement member disposed thereon proximate to a peripheral edge of said flap to allow for engagement to said exterior liner surface when said flap is covered over said liner opening.

9. A receptacle and storage system, comprising: a receptacle comprising: an interior receptacle surface; an exterior receptacle surface; and a peripheral receptacle edge that defines a receptacle opening; and a liner configured for insertion into said receptacle, said liner comprising: an interior liner surface; an exterior liner surface; a peripheral liner edge that defines a liner opening; and an engagement member disposed on said exterior liner surface, wherein said liner is inserted in said receptacle, said engagement member removably secures said liner to said interior receptacle surface such that said liner opening remains capable of receiving material therethrough for placement in said liner, and such that said liner does not extend beyond said receptacle opening and does not cover any portion of said exterior receptacle surface.

10. The receptacle and storage system of claim 9, wherein said liner is made of biodegradable material.

11. The receptacle and storage system of claim 9, wherein said liner is substantially made of paper.

12. The receptacle and storage system of claim 9, wherein said engagement member comprises at least one adhesive strip that is located adjacent said peripheral liner edge.

13. The receptacle and storage system of claim 9, wherein said exterior receptacle surface has a decorative design uncovered by said liner.

14. The receptacle and storage system of claim 9, further comprising a flap extending from a portion of said peripheral liner edge, said flap being sufficiently large to cover said liner opening when said liner is full and said flap being capable of complete insertion into said receptacle when said liner is removably secured to said interior receptacle surface by said engagement member.

15. The receptacle and storage system of claim 14, wherein said engagement member is disposed in a location on said exterior liner surface to allow for engagement of said flap when said flap is covered over said liner opening.

16. The liner of claim 14, wherein said flap comprises a flap engagement member disposed thereon proximate to a peripheral edge of said flap to allow for engagement to said exterior liner surface when said flap is covered over said liner opening.

17. A liner configured to receive and store material, comprising an inner surface, an outer surface, a peripheral edge defining an opening, and an engagement member disposed on said outer surface, said liner configured such that said inner surface and said outer surface are substantially unfolded at said peripheral edge, and such that said engagement member is configured for engaging the interior surface of a receptacle such that the opening remains capable of receiving material therethrough when said liner is placed in the receptacle.

18. The liner of claim 17, further comprising a flap extending from a portion of said peripheral edge, said flap being sufficiently large to cover said opening.

19. The liner of claim 18, wherein said engagement member is placed in a location on said exterior surface to allow for engagement of said flap when said flap is covered over said opening.

20. The liner of claim 18, wherein said flap further comprises a flap engagement member disposed thereon proximate a peripheral edge of said flap to allow for engagement to said exterior surface when said flap is covered over said opening.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to liners for receptacles and, more particularly, to disposable liners that can be removably secured to the interior of a waste receptacle without covering or obscuring exterior portions of the receptacle.

BACKGROUND

Users of receptacles, including waste receptacles, commonly use liners that allow for easier removal and disposal of the material placed into the receptacle and that prevent the interior of the receptacle from becoming soiled, stained, or contaminated. Typically, however, because of the flexible and flaccid nature of such liners, they often fall down inside the receptacle or close off during use. To alleviate this problem, users frequently employ various ad hoc remedies, including folding the liner over the top edge of the receptacle, cinching or knotting the liner, or pulling the liner over hooks or other protrusions on the receptacle itself. These remedies are often unreliable, unworkable, and result in generally disappointing results for users.

Furthermore, many users employ liners in receptacles, including waste receptacles, which have exteriors that incorporate designs, patterns, text, or artwork. Often, users acquire receptacles for home or office use because of these exterior designs, patterns, text, or artwork, but encounter disappointing results when attempting to use a liner according to the methods discussed above. Commonly, users are forced to obscure or cover portions of the receptacle's exterior designs, patterns, text, or artwork, defeating one of the reasons the user acquired the particular receptacle. These problems are of a particular concern to those employing waste receptacles for decorative purposes, such as in home powder rooms, client restrooms, and office waiting rooms. Additionally, the sight of the liner itself covering a portion of the receptacle may be unsightly in some instances. As such, there remains room for variation and improvement within the art, particularly, for providing receptacle liners that can be reliably and removably secured to a receptacle for receipt and collection of material but that can be so secured without obscuring portions of the exterior of the receptacle to increase aesthetic appeal and usefulness of the apparatus.

SUMMARY

Various features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned from practice of the invention.

A liner configured for insertion into a receptacle is provided. The receptacle into which the liner is inserted has an interior receptacle surface, an exterior receptacle surface, and a peripheral receptacle edge that defines a receptacle opening. The liner includes an interior liner surface, an exterior liner surface, and a peripheral liner edge that defines a liner opening. The liner further includes an engagement member disposed on the exterior liner surface, so that when the liner is inserted in the receptacle, the engagement member removably secures the liner to the interior receptacle surface. Secured in this manner, the liner opening remains capable of receiving material, such as waste, therethrough, does not extend beyond the receptacle opening, and does not cover any portion of the exterior receptacle surface.

A receptacle and storage system is further provided. Also provided is a liner configured to receive and store material. The system and liner each have similar properties and characteristics to the liner configured for insertion into a receptacle.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side view of the liner and receptacle in accordance with one exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the liner and receptacle of FIG. 1 showing the engagement member disposed on the exterior liner surface removably securing the liner to the interior receptacle surface.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the liner and receptacle of FIG. 1 showing the insertion and removal of the liner and a decorative pattern on the exterior of the receptacle surface that is not obscured when the liner is inserted and removably secured to the interior surface of the receptacle.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the liner and receptacle of FIG. 1 showing the liner and flap extending from a portion of the peripheral liner edge, both contained in the receptacle, the removal of the liner with its flap from the receptacle, and the covering of the liner opening by the flap, the flap engagement member engaging the exterior liner surface when the flap is covered over the liner opening.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the drawings. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, and not meant as a limitation of the invention. For example, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used with another embodiment to yield still a third embodiment. It is intended that the present invention include these and other modifications and variations.

It is to be understood that the ranges mentioned herein include all ranges located within the prescribed range. As such, all ranges mentioned herein include all sub-ranges included in the mentioned ranges. For instance, a range from 100-200 also includes ranges from 110-150, 170-190, and 153-162. Further, all limits mentioned herein include all other limits included in the mentioned limits. For instance, a limit of up to 7 also includes a limit of up to 5, up to 3, and up to 4.5.

As depicted in FIG. 1, the present disclosure is directed towards a liner 1 configured for insertion into a receptacle 2 so that the liner 1 is removably secured to the interior receptacle surface 3 using one or more engagement members 11.

An exemplary embodiment of the liner 1 is shown in FIG. 1. The liner 1 has an interior liner surface 7, an exterior liner surface 8, and a peripheral liner edge 9 defining a liner opening 10. The liner 1 is configured for placement into a receptacle 2, which has an interior receptacle surface 3, an exterior receptacle surface 4, and a peripheral receptacle edge 5 defining a receptacle opening 6. When the liner 1 is inserted into the receptacle 2, the user can employ the engagement member 11 disposed on the exterior liner surface 8 to removably secure the liner 1 to the interior receptacle surface 3, such that the liner opening 10 remains capable of receiving material therethrough and the liner 1 does not extend beyond the receptacle opening 6 defined by the peripheral receptacle edge 5 and does not cover any portion of the exterior receptacle surface 4. In this manner users may not need to fold, crimp, or extend the liner over the peripheral receptacle edge to thus obscure the exterior receptacle surface.

The liner 1 may be constructed from any readily-useable material typically employed for construction of receptacle liners, such as plastic. In one preferred embodiment, the liner 1 is substantially made of paper. As used herein, the term “substantially made of paper” refers to the liner 1 having a substantial portion of its composition as paper, paper-based, or organic materials, whether or not the liner 1 also has substantially water-repellant surfaces comprised of plastic, wax, or other similar materials.

In a preferred embodiment, the engagement member 11 takes the form of an adhesive. Several different types of adhesive materials are known in the art and may be used to secure the liner 1, including permanently-active strips of adhesive that rely on removal of paper covering, as well as selectively-activatible materials that exhibit adherent properties when some action is taken by the user. The various adhesive materials that could be employed for the engagement member 11, some of which are described more fully in U.S. Pat. No. 6,139,185 to Hamilton, the content of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes, can be readily disposed on the exterior liner surface 8 during or after manufacture of the liner 1.

In a preferred embodiment, the engagement member 11 is positioned on the exterior liner surface 8 proximate the peripheral liner edge 9, such that, when the liner 1 is inserted in the receptacle 2, the engagement member 11 can removably secure the liner 1 to the interior receptacle surface 3 and permit the liner opening 10 to remain open and capable of receiving material therethrough. In this preferred embodiment, the engagement member 11 is further positioned on the exterior liner surface 8 proximate the peripheral liner edge 9, such that, when the liner 1 is inserted in the receptacle 2, the engagement member 11 can removably secure the liner 1 to the interior receptacle surface 3 without the liner 1 extending beyond the receptacle opening 6 or obscuring the exterior receptacle surface 4. The liner 1 may be employed in decorative waste receptacles in homes and businesses, although it is to be understood that the liner 1 can be used in a variety of receptacles having various applications. It is to be further understood that disposing the engagement member 11 on the exterior liner surface 8 also refers to and means disposing the engagement member 11 on a portion of the interior liner surface 7 that can be folded so that it becomes part of the exterior, if doing so would permit the user to achieve the advantages and objectives of the present invention. The purpose and scope of the present invention cannot be avoided merely by disposing the engagement member 11 on the interior liner surface 7 in this manner.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the engagement member 11 removably secures the exterior liner surface 8 to the interior receptacle surface 3. Any number or configuration of engagement members 11 can be employed in accordance with various aspects of the liner. For example, as few as one engagement member 11 can be employed if sufficient to removably secure the exterior liner surface 8 to the interior receptacle surface 3 and achieve the purposes and advantages of the present invention as disclosed herein. Furthermore, the engagement member 11 can be disposed on the exterior liner surface 8 in various positions, shapes, and angles in accordance with other exemplary embodiments of the present invention, whether there are multiple, shortened engagement members 11, one or more elongated engagement members 11, or one annular or peripheral engagement member 11 extending substantially around the circumference of the liner opening 10.

As shown in FIG. 3, the liner 1 may be inserted into a receptacle 2 that has a decorative design 12 on the exterior receptacle surface 4. As shown in FIG. 3, the user can employ the engagement member 11 to removably secure the liner 1 to the interior receptacle surface 3, such that the liner opening 10 remains open for receiving material therethrough, but also so the liner 1 does not extend beyond the receptacle opening 6 defined by the peripheral receptacle edge 5 and does not cover any portion of the exterior receptacle surface 4 or any decorative design 12 disposed thereon. The decorative design 12 shown in FIG. 3 is merely representative of any type of decorative design 12 that might be used in accordance with other exemplary embodiments of the present invention. For purposes of this invention, the decorative design 12 can also include any text, artwork, or other symbols, designs, drawings or representations that are disposed on the exterior receptacle surface 4. Further, the decorative design 12 need not be present on the exterior receptacle surface 4 in accordance with other exemplary embodiments.

In one exemplary embodiment, the liner 1 may be configured with a flap 13 extending from a portion of the peripheral liner edge 9. As shown in FIG. 4, the flap 13 should be capable of complete insertion into the receptacle 2 when the liner 1 is removably secured to the interior receptacle surface 3 by the engagement member 11, though it is not required that the flap always remain inside the receptacle 2. Furthermore, the flap 13 should be sufficiently large to cover the liner opening 10 when the liner 1 is full, and should include a flap engagement member 14 disposed on the flap 13, preferably located close to the edge of the flap 13, as shown in FIG. 4. In other preferred embodiments, the flap engagement member 14 may instead be disposed on the exterior liner surface 8 or the interior liner surface 7 and, further, may also serve as an engagement member 11.

As shown in FIG. 4, in one exemplary embodiment, when the liner 1 is full, the user can remove the liner 1 from the receptacle 2 and fold the flap 13 over the liner opening 10, removably securing the flap 13 with the flap engagement member 14.

While the present invention has been described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the subject matter encompassed by way of the present invention is not to be limited to those specific embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended for the subject matter of the invention to include all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as can be included within the spirit and scope of the following claims. For example, although the present disclosure discusses use of liners 1 for waste receptacles 2, other embodiments of the present invention may include liners 1 for all manners of receptacles 2, whether for storing or containing food, dry goods, beverages, and other materials or products that users store or contain in receptacles 2.