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Publication numberUS20050047685 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/926,136
Publication dateMar 3, 2005
Filing dateAug 26, 2004
Priority dateAug 27, 2003
Also published asCA2479761A1, CN1590231A, EP1510465A1
Publication number10926136, 926136, US 2005/0047685 A1, US 2005/047685 A1, US 20050047685 A1, US 20050047685A1, US 2005047685 A1, US 2005047685A1, US-A1-20050047685, US-A1-2005047685, US2005/0047685A1, US2005/047685A1, US20050047685 A1, US20050047685A1, US2005047685 A1, US2005047685A1
InventorsYoji Tsutsumi
Original AssigneeYoji Tsutsumi
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Synthetic resin bag
US 20050047685 A1
Abstract
A bag for receiving purchased goods is proposed which can be hung on a hanger device and which can be opened fast with only one hand without causing the rest of the bags never ruffled nor disarranged. The bag includes a front sheet, a back sheet, and pleats connecting side edges of the front and back sheets together. Each pleats is folded inwardly such that a fold line is formed inside of the side edges of the front and back sheets. The front and back sheets and the pleats have their bottom edges welded together. The bag further includes upwardly protruding handles at both ends of the top edge of the bag. Each of the front and back sheets has a tongue portion formed on the top edge thereof between the handles. Each sheet is formed with holes near the top edge thereof and between the tongue and the fold lines of the pleats, and further formed with cutting guides each extending from one of the holes to the top edge thereof. Each tongue is formed with a hole, and a cutting guide extending the entire width of the tongue below the hole.
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Claims(6)
1. A plastic shopping bag for receiving purchased goods, said bag being formed of a synthetic resin and comprising a front sheet, a back sheet, and pleats each connecting one side edge of said front sheet to a corresponding side edge of said back sheet, each of said pleats being folded inwardly such that a fold line is formed inside of the respective side edges of said front and back sheets, said front and back sheets and said pleats have their bottom edges welded together to close the bottom of said bag, said bag further including upwardly protruding handles at both ends of a top edge of the bag, each of said front and back sheets having a tongue portion formed on the top edge thereof between said handles, each of said tongues being formed with a first hole, each of said front and back sheets being formed two second holes for hanging up said bag itself, and further formed with a perpendicular cutting guide extending from each of said second holes to the top edge thereof, and a perforated cutting guide extending over the entire width of said tongue below said first hole.
2. The bag of claim 1 wherein each of said front and back sheets is formed with a cut below an invisible line connecting said second holes, said cut defining a puller tab.
3. The bag of claim 2 wherein each of said puller tabs is formed with a finger catch that engages a fingertip, thus making it possible to separate said front sheet from said back sheet.
4. The bag of claim 1, wherein said handles are each formed with a hole near its top end through which a tool for holding said handle in position can be inserted.
5. The bag of claim 2, wherein said handles are each formed with a hole near its top end through which a tool for holding said handle in position can be inserted.
6. The bag of claim 3, wherein said handles are each formed with a hole near its top end through which a tool for holding said handle in position can be inserted.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to a synthetic resin bag which can be hand-carried with purchased goods received therein.
  • [0002]
    In a typical Japanese supermarket, drugstore or any other large-scale store, a shopper picks up goods he or she wants to buy, puts them in a basket or cart of the store, brings the basket or cart to a cash counter, and puts the basket or the goods on the register counter. The cashier picks up the purchased goods from the basket one by one to scan the bar-codes, and transfers them in another basket, and, when all this work is done, hands one or more plastic shopping bag to the shopper. After payment, the shopper picks up the basket filled with the purchased goods and brings it to a separate table or counter, where the shopper puts the purchased goods into the plastic shopping bag or bags. Namely, self-service style is adopted.
  • [0003]
    In some stores, a cashier and another packaging assistant are stationed at each cash register counter. The packaging assistant selects a suitable bag or bags, puts the goods purchased by each shopper into the selected bag or bags, seals the bag and hands it to the shopper.
  • [0004]
    With this new system, it is possible to omit separate tables or counters on which shoppers put purchased goods into bags. This saves the facility cost and space and saves the shopper from the trouble of bagging on their own all the goods they purchased.
  • [0005]
    Also, since the bags are sealed by the backaging assistant, any crooked shopper is discouraged from coming back into the store, sneak additional goods into the bag containing goods of which the payment has been finished, and leave the store, bypassing the cashier by virtue of the bag provided by the cashier and serving as evidence that the payment was already made. Thus, this is also a less conspicuous way to prevent or at least discourage shoplifting.
  • [0006]
    But stationing two people at each casher's counter is of course uneconomical from the viewpoint of the labor cost.
  • [0007]
    One way to save the labor cost is for a cashier to do the packaging assistant's job. But this doubles the cashier's job, thus putting an excessive burden on the cashier.
  • [0008]
    Typical plastic shopping bags used in e.g. supermarkets to put purchased goods are polyethylene bags having grip portions at both sides on top. Numerous such bags are folded flat and stacked near each cashier. If a cashier also serves as a packaging assistant, a plurality of shelves for keeping bags of different size from the bags in the other shelves are arranged around the cashier on a single horizontal plane so that the cashier can easily pull out a bag from any shelf. Because the shelves are arranged on a single horizontal plane, they take up a large space. When the cashier pulls out the topmost bag from a selected shelf in an irritated hurried manner, the remaining bags tend to be ruffled and scatter. This makes it more difficult to pull out a single bag neatly next time.
  • [0009]
    After pulling out a bag, the cashier has to open the bag using both hands. Thus, the cashier cannot do any other jobs while opening the bag. Moreover, in order to keep the mouth of the bag open, the casher has to keep holding the bag with one hand. This extremely lowers the efficiency of the cashier.
  • [0010]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a bag of the abovementioned type which can be hung on a hanger device, which can be opened with a single hand, which can keep its mouth open without the need of a support by a hand, and which can be removed from the hanger device without scattering the remaining bags.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    According to this invention, there is provided a plastic shopping bag for receiving purchased goods, the bag being formed of a synthetic resin and comprising a front sheet, a back sheet, and pleats each connecting one side edge of the front sheet to a corresponding side edge of the back sheet, each of the pleats being folded inwardly such that a fold line is formed inside of the respective side edges of the front and back sheets, the front and back sheets and the pleats have their bottom edges welded together to close the bottom of the bag, the bag further including upwardly protruding handles at both ends of a top edge of the bag, each of the front and back sheets having a tongue portion formed on the top edge thereof between the handles, each of the tongues being formed with a first hole, each of the front and back sheets being formed two second holes for hanging up the bag itself, and further formed with a perpendicular cutting guide extending from each of the second holes to the top edge thereof, and a perforated cutting guide extending over the entire width of the tongue below the first hole.
  • [0012]
    Preferably, each of the front and back sheets is formed with a cut below a line connecting the second holes, the cut defining a tab. Each of the tabs is preferably formed with a finger catch that engages a finger and prevents slip of the finger on the tab.
  • [0013]
    Preferably, the handles are each formed with a hole through which a finger can be inserted to grab the handle.
  • [0014]
    The bag of this invention may have a small semi-circular puller-tab shaped out by a half-moon slit located straight down from the hole in the tongue and just a little down from the invisible straight horizontal line extending between the two second holes. This puller-tab may have a slit or hole in the center with which the frontmost sheet alone can be easily singled out by just rubbing together the tips of the thumb and the index finger through the slit or the hole.
  • [0015]
    This singling out of the frontmost sheet by the rubbing of the two fingertips makes it possible to open the mouth of the foremost one from all the other bags kept hung behind it on the hanger device. Besides this, a hole may be made near the top edge of each of the handle parts to keep the handles themselves aloof from the bag's mouth.
  • [0016]
    The plastic shopping bag of this invention is made of polyethylene tubular material which is folded flat with two pleats with the lateral sides held between the two sheets, the frontal one and the rear one, cut to a required length and both the bottom side end and the pleat ends are welded together to provide tightly sealed bottom.
  • [0017]
    Besides, two handles are shaped out at the top by cutting into either of the front sheet and the rear sheet on both their inner sides leaving their outer parts left uncut. Now the handles are comprised of four sheets, namely, the front sheet, back sheet, pleated part now into two sheets. The handle parts are welded at the top ends and the cutting is made to go beyond the pleated end so that the handles will form a hollow loop so that the hand can go through for gripping.
  • [0018]
    Still besides, both the front sheet and the back sheet have on their central top area an upward protrusion or a tongue with the broader neck part extending into a narrower head part with an intermittent severing line made at the top area of the broader neck part.
  • [0019]
    Further, the puller tab mentioned above is made inside the U-shape incision given to both the front sheet and the back sheet. This puller tab has a hole or a slit of various shapes.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0020]
    Other features and objects of this invention will become apparent from the following description when taken with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • [0021]
    FIG. 1A is a front view of the bag according to this invention;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 1B is a cross-section taken along line B-B of FIG. 1A;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of the bag of FIG. 1A, showing its upper portion;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the bag of FIG. 1A, showing how it is hung on a hanger device;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 when the mouth is opened.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 5 is a side view of the bag of FIG. 1A when it is hung on a hanger device with its mouth open; and
  • [0027]
    FIGS. 6A to 6C show bags of the present invention formed with different finger catches in the puller tab portions.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0028]
    Referring to the drawings, the bag 1 according to this invention is formed of a synthetic resin, and comprises a front sheet 2, a back sheet 3 and inwardly folded pleats 4 connecting the side edges of the sheet 2 to the corresponding side edges of the sheet 3. The sheets 2 and 3 and the pleats 4 are welded together along their bottom edges as shown at 5 to close the bottom of the bag 1.
  • [0029]
    The bag 1 has handles 6 each protruding upwardly from one end of the top edge of the bag. Between the handles 6, the top edges of the sheets 2 and 3 are not welded together to form a top opening of the bag 1 through which purchased goods can be put into the bag 1. In the middle of the top edge, each of the sheets 2 and 3 has an upwardly protruding tongue 8 that overlaps with the tongue 8 of the other of the sheets 2 and 3.
  • [0030]
    Near the top edge at both sides and adjacent to the inner end of the two pleats 4, each of the sheets 2 and 3 is formed with a pair of holes 9 aligned with the corresponding holes 9 of the other of the sheets 2 and 3. Near the top ends, the tongues 8 of the sheets 2 and 3 are formed with a through hole 10 on its top area. A cutting line or guide 11 such as a perforation line is formed in each of the sheets 2 and 3 so as to extend from each hole 9 to the top edge of the sheet 2 or 3. Below the hole 10, a horizontal, cutting line or guide 12 such as a perforation line extends over the entire width of each tongue 8.
  • [0031]
    The holes 10 are located above the holes 9 so that the holes 9 and 10 formed in each of the sheets 2 and 3 configure three vertices of an isosceles triangle.
  • [0032]
    A plurality of such bags as described above are made from a thin tubular material of polyethylene, e.g., in the following manner:
  • [0033]
    First, a thin synthetic resin tube is pressed with both sides folded inwardly in V shape as deeply as desired so that the sheets 2 and 3 and the pleats 4 are stacked one over another as shown in FIG. 1B. The tube is then cut to a plurality of portions having a desired length so that each portion comprises the front sheet 2, the back sheet 3 and the pleats 4. The sheets 2 and 3 and the pleats 4 are thereafter welded together along the bottom edges thereof to form the bottom of the bag.
  • [0034]
    The handles 6 and the tongues 8 are formed by cutting out the top edge of the bag 1 substantially in the shape of an upended M as shown at 13. As shown in FIG. 2, each handle 6 comprises a total of four overlapped sheet portions, i.e. a portion of the front sheet 2, a portion of the back sheet 3 and folded portions of each pleat 4. The four sheet portions have their top edges welded together as shown at 14. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, when the top edge of the bag is cut out substantially in the shape of an upended M, the portions of the pleats 4 forming the handles 6 are cut along their inner fold lines to form holes 15 through which a hand can pass to hold the handles 6.
  • [0035]
    Each tongue 8 comprises a lower wide portion 8a, which connects to the top edge of the sheet 2 or 3, and an upper narrow portion 8b connecting to the wide portion 8a. The hole 10 is formed in the narrow portion 8a near its top end. The cutting line or guide 12 extends over the entire width of the wide portion 8a near its top end.
  • [0036]
    In each of the sheets 2 and 3, near the top edge thereof but a little below the imaginary line connecting the holes 9, a U-shaped cut 16 is formed to define a tab portion 17 in which a finger catch 18 to help to catch one single topmost/foremost tab in between the finger tips is formed.
  • [0037]
    The finger catch 18 makes it easier for anyone to pick up only the topmost/foremost one of the tabs 17 by rubbing the tip of the thumb against that of the index finger passed through the catch 18 with a haphazardly picked up top layer part of the tabs held in between them to make sure that the mouth of only the first bag gets opened.
  • [0038]
    The finger catch 18 may be a punched hole, a cut or a slit. Specifically, the finger catch 18 may be a vertical slit as shown in FIG. 6A, a horizontal slit as shown in FIG. 6B, or a circular hole as shown in FIG. 6C.
  • [0039]
    The finger catch 18 may also be shaped in any other way. For example, it may be a vertical, horizontal or oblique groove, an oblique slit, an X-, V- or U-shaped slit, or a hole in the shape of a flower, a heart, spade, diamond or club of a playing cards, a company symbol or any other device. If the finger catch is a groove or a slit, it preferably terminates with circular holes 18a as shown to prevent the end of the slit from tearing further from the end of such a groove or slit. When a fingertip is thrusted into it to widen it, similar circular holes 18 a are also preferably formed at both ends of the U-shaped cut 16 for the same effect against the pull by the tab 17.
  • [0040]
    Cutouts 19 are preferably formed along the top edge of each of the sheets 2 and 3 on both sides of the tongue 8 so that when the front sheet 2 is pulled to open the mouth 7 of the bag, the tongue 8 of the sheet 2 more readily separates from the tongue 8 of the back sheet 3 and thus the mouth 7 of the bag 1 can be more readily opened and wider than when no such cutouts are made. This of course makes it easier to put purchased goods.
  • [0041]
    A plurality of such bags are hung on three rods 21 and 22 (FIG. 4) by inserting the rods 21 into the holes 9 and the rod 22 into the holes 10. Each handle 6 is formed with a hole 20 near its top end, and a discontinuous cut-line 20 a extending from the hole 20 to the outer edge of the handle. With a plurality of bags according to the present invention hung on the three rods, an elastic ring 26 is inserted in the holes 20 of the handles 6 on each side of the bags. The elastic rings 26 prevent the handles 6 of each bag from falling into the bag when the mouth 7 is opened, and also keep the mouth 7 wide open, so that large items can be easily bagged.
  • [0042]
    With a plurality of bags hung on the three rods 21 and 22 and additionally to the elastic rings 26, the tab 17 of one of the sheets 2 and 3 of the forefront bag is pulled to open its mouth 7 to bag purchased goods.
  • [0043]
    As shown in FIGS. 3-5, the three rods 21 and 22 and the elastic rings 26 are elements of a bag hanger device A. As shown, the rod 22 is provided in the rear of the rods 21. The hanger device A further includes a support plate 23 on or through which are arranged the rods 21 and 22 to support upper portions of the bags as shown in FIG. 5, and another support plate 24 for supporting the bottoms of the bags.
  • [0044]
    Each of the rods 21 and 22 is a metallic wire comprising a horizontal portion and a vertical portion extending vertically upwardly from one end of the horizontal portion. The distances between the rods 21 and 22 and the position of the support plate 24 are adjusted according to the distances between the holes 9 and 10 and the vertical dimension of the bags to be hung on the hanger device A.
  • [0045]
    Since the holes 9 and 10 of each bag are provided at the respective vertices of an isosceles triangle, the three rods 21 and 22, which are to be inserted in the respective holes 9 and 10, are supported on the support plate 23 (FIG. 5) so as to be arranged on the respective vertices of an isosceles triangle. The support plate 23 is also substantially in the shape of an isosceles triangle with the rods 21 and 22 arranged near their respective apexes. The support plate 23 has a front edge which is located slightly in front of the line connecting the rods 21 (see FIGS. 3 and 4). The tab portions 17 of each bag are provided such that their top edges will substantially erect near-horizontally from the front edge of the support plate 23 when the bag is hung on the rods 21 and 22 by inserting the rods 21 and 22 into the respective holes 9 and 10. Thus, in this state, the portion of each bag above the horizontal line including the top edges of the tabs 17 rests on the support plate 23 with the remaining portion hanging from the front edge of the support plate 23.
  • [0046]
    In this state, because each bag is bent downward along the top edges of the tabs 17, the tabs tend to erect near-horizontally so as to be substantially flush with the top surface of the support plate 23 as clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The tabs 17 can thus be easily picked with two fingers, the thumb and the index finger for example.
  • [0047]
    As shown in FIG. 5, the hanger device A may be a permanently fixed type in which both the rods 21 and 22 and the support plate 24 are mounted to a vertical, stationary wall 25. While not shown, the hanger device A may be of a type disclosed in (unexamined) JP patent publication 2001-315726, which was filed by the applicant of this invention. That is, the hanger device disclosed in this publication comprises a base, a vertical pillar supported on the base, a rotary cylinder rotatably mounted on the pillar, and a plurality of bag-engaging frames or plates mounted to the outer surface of the rotary cylinder and each carrying a bag-hanging member and a support plate at its upper and lower portions according to the size of bags to be hung.
  • [0048]
    The hanger device A is placed near a cashier counter loaded with a stack of a large number of the bags according to this invention hang thereon by inserting the rods 21 and 22 into the holes 9 and 10 of the respective bags with their upper portions supported on the support plate 23 and their bottoms supported on the support plate 24.
  • [0049]
    As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, elastic rings 26 are inserted in the holes 20 formed in the respective handles 6 of the bags near their top ends with the handles 6 bent forwardly.
  • [0050]
    In this state, in order to put purchased goods into the forefront bag, the cashier picks only the front tab 17 with fingertips. But the front and rear tabs 17 are often stuck together, so that the cashier may pick both the front and rear tabs 17 randomly with the fingertips pushed into the central opening of the tabs 17. By simply rubbing the fingertips against each other with the tabs 17 squeezed in between them, the finger catches 18 of the top tab 17 comes off the other under it, so that the two fingers are separated from each other by the tabs 17. The cashier can thus easily recognize that the forefront one of the tabs 17 is now singled out, because if only the front tab 17 is held between the two fingertips, the two fingertips are fully in direct contact with each other at the area where there is the opening of the finger catch 18. If the cashier detects that both the forefront and rear tabs 17 are held between the two fingertips, he or she pulls it toward them in opposite directions to each other while either of the fingertips is engaged in the finger catches 18 to separate them from each other until the rear tab 17 disengages from the fingers. With only the front tab 17 held between the fingers, the cashier pulls it. When the front tab 17 is pulled, the front sheet 2 only will be torn along the cut-lines 11 and 12, so that the front sheet 2 will disengage from the rods 21 with the narrow portion 8b of the tongue 8 still caught by the rod 22.
  • [0051]
    When only the front tab 17 is pulled in the above-described manner, no tension is applied to the back sheet 3, so that the back sheet 3 is never affected and remains engaged by the rods 21 and 22 with only the top portion of the front sheet 2 now separated from the back sheet 3. The mouth 7 of the bag 1 is thus opened wide as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.
  • [0052]
    When the mouth 7 is opened wide, the holes 15 formed in the handles 6 also expand as shown in FIG. 5. Fingers or a hand can thus be easily inserted into the holes 15 to grab the handles 6 and lift up the bag.
  • [0053]
    As will be apparent from the above description, the mouth 7 of the bag can be easily opened wide with two fingers of one hand.
  • [0054]
    With the mouth of the bag wide open, the elastic rings 26 keep the handles 6 bent as shown in FIG. 4, thus preventing the handles 6 from dropping into the mouth 7 of the bag. Thus, even large items can be bagged easily.
  • [0055]
    With the mouth of a bag wide open, a cashier picks up, one by one, the goods the customer has selected, scans them, and immediately puts them into the bag in regular and rapid sequence. Since the bag 1 has its bottom supported on the support plate 24, no tension is applied to the back sheet 3 no matter how heavy the contents of the bag are. The back sheet 3 is thus stably kept hanging from the rods 21 and 22 with the least possibility of the bag from falling off them.
  • [0056]
    When all the purchases have been bagged and the payment has been made, the cashier inserts fingers of both hands into the holes 15 to grab the handles 6, and pulls the handles 6 with a sufficient force such that the back sheet 3 is torn first along the cut-line 12 and then along the cut-lines 11. When the bag is further pulled, it is torn along the cut-line 20 a. Now the bag 1 is free from the rods 21, 22 and the elastic rings 26. The cashier then seals the mouth of the bag with e.g. adhesive tape and hands the bag to the customer.
  • [0057]
    As described above, simply by pulling the tab 17 of the front sheet 2 of a bag 1 hanging from the rods 21 and 22 with two fingers of one hand, the mouth 7 of the bag 1 can be opened wide. Thus, while opening the mouth of a bag with one hand, the cashier can use the other hand to pick up goods and scan the bar-codes. Once the mouth 7 is opened, it remains open on its own. The cashier can thus use one hand to pick up goods and scan the bar-code, and the other hand to put goods into the bag. After bags have been removed from the rods 21 and 22, the narrow portions 8 b of the tongues 8 will be still held by the rod 22, so that they will never scatter around. This eliminates the need to frequently clean the floor to remove debris of bags.
  • [0058]
    Since numerous bags are hung from the rods 21 and 22, they take up less space compared to bags laid flat on a horizontal plane. Since all the bags are held by the rods, they will never scatter around, none affected by the forefront one that gets clear of all the rest in its back.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7959006Nov 21, 2008Jun 14, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Bag with elastic support members
US8534462 *Apr 24, 2012Sep 17, 2013Daniel Brian TanFilm bags in a dispensing container
US8590706 *May 15, 2012Nov 26, 2013Alejandro J. AlvaradoPacks of plastic bags and racks for supporting packs of plastic bags
US20060120635 *Feb 24, 2006Jun 8, 2006Frank SuSquare bottomed plastic bag and method of making same
US20070080091 *Apr 30, 2004Apr 12, 2007Euro Packaging Ltd.Stack of bags
US20090274396 *Nov 5, 2009Ips Industries, Inc.T-shirt bag and stack of bags
US20100129007 *Nov 21, 2008May 27, 2010Target Brands, Inc.Bag with elastic support members
US20100284633 *May 7, 2009Nov 11, 2010Cmd CorporationDiscrete pouch having a closure system secured thereto
US20120228246 *Sep 13, 2012Alvarado Alejandro JPacks of Plastic Bags and Racks for Supporting Packs of Plastic Bags
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Classifications
U.S. Classification383/8, 383/9, 383/35, 383/120, 206/554, 383/37
International ClassificationB65D33/00, B65D30/10, B65D83/08, B25B1/00, B65B67/12, B65D33/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/001
European ClassificationB65D33/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 15, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: IMEX CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TSUTSUMI, YOJI;REEL/FRAME:015986/0161
Effective date: 20041020