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Publication numberUS20060273143 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/192,345
Publication dateDec 7, 2006
Filing dateJul 28, 2005
Priority dateJun 7, 2005
Also published asCA2549294A1
Publication number11192345, 192345, US 2006/0273143 A1, US 2006/273143 A1, US 20060273143 A1, US 20060273143A1, US 2006273143 A1, US 2006273143A1, US-A1-20060273143, US-A1-2006273143, US2006/0273143A1, US2006/273143A1, US20060273143 A1, US20060273143A1, US2006273143 A1, US2006273143A1
InventorsBryan Finch
Original AssigneeBryan Finch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible container
US 20060273143 A1
Abstract
The invention includes a collapsible container that is particularly useful for lawn debris. The container includes a bottom panel and multiple side panels including a plurality of fold lines that allow the side panels to collapse. When the side panels are collapsed, they are positioned adjacent to the bottom panel and the container is substantially flat. At least part of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed. In use, debris may be swept, raked or otherwise placed onto the collapsed container. When the desired amount of debris has been accumulated, the sides of the container can be raised to contain the debris.
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Claims(20)
1. A container comprising:
an opening;
a plurality of side panels comprising a plurality of fold lines; and
a bottom panel;
wherein the side panels collapse along the fold lines to be substantially contiguous with the bottom panel; and
wherein at least a portion of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed.
2. The container of claim 1, wherein the container is self-supporting.
3. The container of claim 1, wherein the container is constructed from a degradable material.
4. The container of claim 3, wherein the container is constructed from paper.
5. The container of claim 4, wherein the paper is coated with a water-resistant substance.
6. The container of claim 1, wherein the container is constructed from a single blank.
7. The container of claim 1, further comprising structure for closing the top opening.
8. The container of claim 7, wherein the structure for closing the top opening is a drawstring.
9. The container of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of flaps along a top edge of the container.
10. The container of claim 9, further comprising at least two handles, wherein each handle joins two flaps.
11. The container of claim 1, wherein the container comprises four side panels.
12. The container of claim 1, further comprising printed text on at least one of the side panels.
13. A container constructed from a single blank comprising:
a top opening;
structure for closing the top opening;
a plurality of side panels comprising a plurality of fold lines; and
a bottom panel;
wherein the side panels collapse along the fold lines to be substantially contiguous with the bottom panel;
wherein at least a portion of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed; and
wherein the container is self-supporting and is constructed from a degradable material.
14. The container of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of flaps along a top edge of the container.
15. The container of claim 14, further comprising at least two handles, wherein each handle joins two flaps.
16. The container of claim 13, wherein the structure for closing the top opening is a drawstring.
17. A blank of material for forming a container comprising:
a first side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a second side panel connected to the second side edge of the first side panel, the second side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a third side panel connected to the second side edge of the second side panel, the third side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a first bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the first side panel, the first bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a second bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the second side panel, the second bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a third bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the third side panel, the third bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a plurality of horizontal fold lines on the first, second and third side panels, the horizontal fold lines being substantially continuous across the side panels; and
a plurality of angled fold lines separating the first, second and third side panels, wherein a bottom end of each angled fold line joins a top end of the next angled fold line and wherein each angled fold line is angled in an opposite direction from the next angled fold line.
18. The blank of claim 17, further comprising:
a first top flap connected to the top edge of the first side panel, the first top flap having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a second top flap connected to the top edge of the second side panel, the second top flap having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge; and
a third top flap connected to the top edge of the third side panel, the third top flap having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge.
19. The blank of claim 17, further comprising:
a fourth side panel connected to the second side edge of the third side panel, the fourth side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a fifth side panel connected to the second side edge of the fourth side panel, the fifth side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge;
a fourth bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the fourth side panel, the fourth bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge; and
a fifth bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the fifth side panel, the fifth bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge.
20. The blank of claim 19, wherein the first side panel is connected to the fifth side panel when a container is constructed from the blank.
Description
BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a collapsible container. More particularly, the invention relates to a self-supporting collapsible container that may be used to contain lawn debris.

2. General Background

Despite the many products on the market related to gardening and landscaping, recreational gardeners and professional landscapers face age-old problems in maintaining a yard—collecting and disposing of yard debris. The process of collecting and disposing of yard debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, twigs and the like, is time consuming and physically challenging. For city dwellers, disposing of yard debris presents unique challenges because many cities have restrictions on how yard debris must be contained in order for it to be removed by the city. For example, many cities require yard debris to be placed in biodegradable paper bags.

A common method of collecting and disposing of yard debris involves using large kraft paper bags, such as 20-40 gallon kraft bags specifically marketed for use in disposing of yard debris. These bags are similar to smaller paper bags in that they have a front panel and a back panel, gusset sides, a bottom panel and a top opening. The bags may be folded flat for shipping, but yard debris cannot be placed inside the bag when it is folded flat.

Conventional lawn bags have advantages in that they are biodegradable and relatively inexpensive. However, use of these bags is cumbersome and putting yard debris in commonly available kraft paper bags can be difficult. The bag must be erected in order to put debris in it. Once erected, the opening of the bag is several feet above the ground. A person must pick the debris off the ground and place it into the opening of the bag. This requires repeated bending and lifting, which can be physically difficult. Multiple bags are usually required and these bags must be moved to the curb or some other location for disposal.

Many solutions have been devised that include devices and methods for collecting a large amount of yard debris at one time. These devices and methods can then be used to transport the yard debris to the location for disposal. In locations where pick up is provided, it is generally necessary to move all the debris to the curb, then placing it in kraft paper bags. In locations where the homeowner or landscaper must dispose of the yard debris, this usually requires moving all the yard debris to a landfill that accepts yard debris. Common devices used for this purpose are plastic tarps and collapsible boxes. Such devices may be reused and are often slidable, making it easier to move the debris to the desired location. However, they still require that the yard debris be lifted at some point and can be cumbersome. Furthermore, for the person required by city regulations to dispose of his yard debris in biodegradable bags, these devices still require bending and lifting to get the yard debris into the disposable bags.

Thus, what is needed is a container that does not require the repeated bending and lifting common with current containers. Also need is a biodegradable container that may be used for yard debris.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention includes a collapsible container useful for lawn debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, twigs and the like. Some embodiments of the container include a bottom panel and multiple side panels including a plurality of fold lines that allow the side panels to collapse. When the side panels are collapsed, they are positioned adjacent to the bottom panel such that the container is substantially flat. At least part of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed. In use, lawn debris may be swept or raked onto the collapsed container. When a substantial amount of lawn debris has been accumulated, the sides of the container can be raised to contain the debris.

Some embodiments of a container according to the invention include a container with an opening, a plurality of side panels including a plurality of fold lines and a bottom panel. The side panels collapse along the fold lines to be substantially contiguous with the bottom panel and at least a portion of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed.

Some embodiments of a container according to the invention include a container, which is formed from a single blank, with a top opening, structure for closing the top opening, a plurality of side panels comprising a plurality of fold lines and a bottom panel. The side panels collapse along the fold lines to be substantially contiguous with the bottom panel. At least a portion of the bottom panel is exposed when the side panels are collapsed. The container is self-supporting and is constructed from a degradable material.

Some embodiments of the invention include a blank of material for forming a container. The blank includes a first side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a second side panel connected to the second side edge of the first side panel, the second side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a third side panel connected to the second side edge of the second side panel, the third side panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a first bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the first side panel, the first bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a second bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the second side panel, the second bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a third bottom panel connected to the bottom edge of the third side panel, the third bottom panel having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge and a second side edge, a plurality of horizontal fold lines on the first, second and third side panels, the horizontal fold lines being substantially continuous across the side panels and a plurality of angled fold lines separating the first, second and third side panels. A bottom end of each angled fold line joins a top end of the next angled fold line and each angled fold line is angled in an opposite direction from the next angled fold line.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an erected container with lawn debris therein according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a collapsed container according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a collapsed container according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a collapsed container with lawn debris thereon according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a blank that may be used to construct a collapsed container according to some embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention will now be described more fully with reference to the drawings. However, this invention can be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth. The relational terms “back,” “front,” “top,” “bottom,” etc. are used to refer to the invention as it is depicted in the drawings and is not limiting of the invention in use. As used herein, the term “fold line” refers to any line that is shallower than the surface of the container. Fold lines may be formed by cutting or depressing an area of the container. The depth of the fold lines may be shallow, such as are useful for making folds, to very deep or perforated, such as are useful for tearing.

As shown in FIG. 1, according to some embodiments of the invention, a container 10 is provided that may be used for collecting, transporting and containing lawn debris 24, such as leaves and grass clippings. As shown in FIG. 1, when the container 10 is erected, it may include a plurality of side panels 12. The side panels 12 include a plurality of horizontal fold lines 32 and angled fold lines 34. In the embodiment shown, the container 10 is substantially rectangular or square and includes four side panels 12. Thus, embodiments of the container 10 may be shaped substantially like conventional containers. The container 10 includes a top opening 16 that provides access to the leaves or other yard debris 24 in the container 10. The container 10 may optionally include flaps 18 near the top opening 16. The flaps 18 can be used to aid in lifting the container 10 or to increase the surface area of the container 10 when it is collapsed.

As shown in FIG. 2, the container 10 may be collapsed along the horizontal fold lines 32 and angled fold lines 34. When the container 10 is collapsed, it folds substantially flat. The side panels 12 fold on themselves and are substantially contiguous with or adjacent to the bottom panel 14.

When the container 10 is collapsed and the side panels 12 are collapsed, a large amount of the bottom panel 14 is exposed, as shown in FIG. 3. In some embodiments, a majority of the bottom panel 14 is exposed. When the container 10 is collapsed, leaves or other lawn debris 24 may be swept, raked or otherwise placed onto the collapsed container 10, as shown in FIG. 4. Because of the unique design of the container 10, a large amount of the bottom panel 14 is exposed when the container 10 is collapsed. This enables the user to place a large amount of lawn debris 24 on the collapsed container 10. Preferably, the folded side panels 12 are substantially flat so that when yard debris 24 is raked or swept onto the container 10, the folded side panels 12 do not obstruct the movement of the yard debris 24 onto the bottom panel 14.

When the desired amount of lawn debris 24 has been piled onto the collapsed container 10, the side panels 12 of the container 10 may be raised by pulling upwardly along the top edge 38 or along top flaps 18. If lawn debris 24 has been placed on the top flaps 18, the top flaps 18 may be raised before or during the raising of the side panels 12 so that all the lawn debris 24 remains within the container 10. As shown in FIG. 1, when the side panels 12 are raised, the lawn debris 24 is contained within the container 10.

As shown in the figures, the container 10 does not require any external supports and is self-supporting.

The container 10 may be constructed from a single blank 36, as shown in FIG. 5. The blank includes a plurality of panels 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 corresponding to the side panels 12. The blank 36 includes a plurality of horizontal fold lines 32 and angled fold lines 34. The angled fold lines 34 separate the blank 36 into panels 40, 42, 44, 46, 48. The panels 40, 42, 44, 46, 48 may be further separated by horizontal fold lines 32. Vertical cut lines 30 may be used to create a plurality of bottom flaps 60, 62, 64, 66, 68. The blank 26 may also include a plurality of top flaps 50, 52, 54, 56, 58. The blank 36 includes side edges 26 and a top edge 38. The bottom flaps 20 each include a bottom edge 28.

When the blank 36 is erected to construct a container 10, the side edges 26 may be joined to each other. The side edges 26 may be joined by mechanical means or any suitable adhesive. The bottom flaps 20 may be folded together to enclosed the bottom of the container 10. The edges 28 of the bottom flaps 20 may be joined together by mechanical means or any suitable adhesive.

Although the container 10 may be constructed from a single blank 36, such as that shown in FIG. 5, it should be understood that manufacturing concerns may require that the container 10 be constructed from multiple blanks. For example, the top flaps 18 or the bottom panel 14 may be separately attached at a different stage in manufacturing.

The container 10 may be constructed of any material that is flexible enough to allow the container 10 to be collapsed and rigid enough to allow the container 10 to be self-supporting. Because of restrictions many cities place on the disposal of yard refuse, it may be preferable for the container 10 to be constructed of a biodegradable material. In some embodiments, the container 10 is constructed of paper. In more particular embodiments, the container 10 is constructed of kraft paper. The container 10 may be single-ply or multi-ply. Because the container 10 may be constructed of a biodegradable material, the container 10 may be a single use, disposable container that is disposed with the yard debris. In some embodiments, the paper or other material may be coated so that the container 10 is substantially water proof.

A container 10 with a shape and dimension similar to existing containers is shown in the drawings. However, it should be understood that the container 10 may be of any desired dimensions. Similarly, the container 10 shown may be a hexagon, a decagon, a dodecagon, and so on. It should be appreciated that a container 10 shape approximating a circle can be achieved by including more sides, if such a shape is desired.

The container 10 may also include handles to assist in lifting the side panels 12 of the container 10 and/or in closing the container 10. For example, the container 10 may include a drawstring around the upper periphery of the container 10 that may be used to draw the flaps together and close the top opening. The container 10 may include handles 22 connecting the flaps, as shown in FIG. 1. These handles 22 may be constructed of any appropriate material, such as rope or twisted kraft paper. Alternatively, handles may be cut out from the side panels 12 of the container 10. The area of the side panels 12 around the cut out may be reinforced to prevent tearing.

Advertising, product information and graphical indicia may be printed on the kraft paper or other material forming the container. The side panels 12 are well suited for such indicia and are easily visible.

Although the container has been described above in a materials and dimensions appropriate for disposing of yard debris, the container may be used in any application in which items needs to be contained, particularly in situations in which a paper bag would be appropriate. For example, the container may be used for holding groceries, household products, liquor/wine bottles, etc.

The foregoing description is provided for describing various embodiments and structures relating to the invention. Various modifications, additions and deletions may be made to these embodiments and/or structures without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7601111Nov 21, 2007Oct 13, 2009Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Gusseted carton
US7699215Feb 1, 2006Apr 20, 2010Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Gusseted carton
US7748603Dec 26, 2006Jul 6, 2010Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with handle
US7806314Feb 5, 2007Oct 5, 2010Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Carton with handle and dispenser
US7832621Oct 13, 2005Nov 16, 2010Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Fully enclosed carton
US7900816Dec 18, 2006Mar 8, 2011Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Collapsible cooler pack with barrier film
US8109433Apr 14, 2009Feb 7, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Gusseted carton
US8136717May 8, 2009Mar 20, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Cooler carton with zipper opening feature
US8231513Oct 27, 2010Jul 31, 2012Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Fully enclosed carton
US8439254Jul 19, 2012May 14, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Fully enclosed carton
US8479525Mar 16, 2011Jul 9, 2013Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Cooler box with handle round
US8752755Dec 22, 2011Jun 17, 2014Graphic Packaging International, Inc.Gusseted carton
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/117.01, 229/101
International ClassificationB65D5/36
Cooperative ClassificationB65F2220/106, B65F2250/108, B65F2250/105, B65F2240/138, B65D5/0005, B65F1/02
European ClassificationB65D5/00A, B65F1/02