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Title:
PLANT FIBER PULP CLOSURE FOR A CONTAINER AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING A PLANT FIBER PULP CONTAINER WITH A CLOSURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/060165
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure relates to a container closure (1) made from plant fiber pulp, said container closure comprising: a plant fiber pulp container portion made from plant fiber pulp, said container portion (2) having a tapered outer contact surface (3) and an open end (4) corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container; a cap portion (5) made from plant fiber pulp, said cap portion comprising: a hollow body (6) having an open end (7) and a closed end (8), wherein the open end (7) is adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion (2), the hollow body (6) having a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container. The disclosure further relates to a method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with an integral plant fiber pulp closure, wherein the parts are glued or inductively sealed together.

Inventors:
LANGEN, Håkon (Anemonevej 44, 3500 Værløse, 3500, DK)
Application Number:
EP2017/074300
Publication Date:
April 05, 2018
Filing Date:
September 26, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CARLSBERG BREWERIES A/S (Ny Carlsberg Vej 100, 1799 Copenhagen V, 1799, DK)
International Classes:
D21J7/00; B65D1/02; B65D8/00; B65D65/46; D21H11/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011090786A12011-07-28
WO2016055072A12016-04-14
WO2012139590A12012-10-18
Foreign References:
US20100252617A12010-10-07
US7370788B12008-05-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HØIBERG P/S (Adelgade 12, 1304 Copenhagen K, 1304, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A container closure made from plant fiber pulp, said container closure

comprising:

a plant fiber pulp container portion made from plant fiber pulp, said container portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container;

a cap portion made from plant fiber pulp, said cap portion comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the open end is adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion, the hollow body having a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container closure.

The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface form a common tapered contact surface.

The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface have a height of at least 20 mm, such as 20-50, preferably at least 25 mm, more preferably at least 30 mm, such as 35-50 mm, even more preferably at least 40 mm, most preferably at least 50 mm.

The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the inner contact area and the outer contact area, in a sealed configuration, form common tapered sealed surface, such as a glued and/or inductively sealed area, of at least 10 cm2, preferably at least 20 cm2, such as 20-40 cm2, more preferably at least 30 cm2, even more preferably at least 40 cm2.

The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact coincide in the sealed configuration.

6. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tapered outer contact surface has an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion of at least 5°, preferably at least 10°, more preferably at least 15°, even more preferably at least 20°, most preferably at least 25°.

7. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the tapered outer contact surface has an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion selected such that the tapered outer contact surface area is maximized in relation to a given height and a given width of the neck of the fiber pulp container. 8. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 2-20 cm2, preferably 2-15 cm2, more preferably as 4-14 cm2, even more preferably as 5- 10 cm2, most preferably 6-8 cm2 and/or wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 2-20 cm2 and the common sealed surface has an area of 20-60 cm2, preferably wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 5-10 cm2 and the common sealed surface has an area of 20-50 cm2.

The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the area of the common sealed surface is at least as large as the area of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container, preferably at least a factor 1 .5 larger, more preferably at least a factor 2 larger, more preferably at least a factor 3 larger, even more preferably a factor 5 larger, most preferably a factor 10 larger.

10. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are configured such that air, such as air bubbles, is pushed away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface when the inner contact surface is being sealingly attached to the outer contact surface.

1 1 . The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cap portion comprises a capsule part, preferably a substantially cylindrical or tapered, in the form of an extension of the hollow body of the cap portion, said capsule part having a closed top, said capsule part thereby constituting an integral capsule, wherein said capsule is made from plant fiber pulp.

12. The container closure according to claim 1 1 , the cap portion further comprising a perforation around the body, separating the capsule part and the hollow body.

13. The container closure according to claim 12, wherein an upper part of the

container portion is arranged to extend through the hollow body of the cap portion beyond the perforation, and wherein said upper part is not attached to the cap portion.

14. The container closure according to claim 13, wherein the upper part extends at least 5 mm, preferably at least 7 mm, beyond the perforation in the sealed configuration of the container closure.

15. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the plant fiber pulp is selected from the group consisting of wood and cereal straw fiber.

16. The container closure according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the inside of the plant fiber pulp container portion; the cap portion and the container are coated with a liquid impermeable coating, and/or comprises a barrier layer barrier layer and/or a spray coating having properties such that a liquid into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved cannot permeate the barrier layer or coating, thereby allowing the container to store a carbonated liquid.

17. A container, such as a bottle, made from plant fiber, comprising the container closure according to any of the preceding claims.

18. A bottle, made from plant fiber, comprising the container closure according to any of claims 1 -16, wherein the inner contact area and the outer contact area, form a common sealed, tapered and preferably glued, surface.

19. The bottle according to claim 18, wherein the common surface corresponds to a bottle neck. 20. The bottle according to any of claims 18-19, wherein the container portion is an integral part of the bottle and the cap portion is an integral part of the cap.

21 . The bottle according to any of claims 18-20, wherein the bottle has a substantially cylindrical base portion, seamlessly connected to an open-ended tapered outer contact surface.

22. A method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with an integral plant fiber pulp closure, comprising the steps of:

providing a plant fiber pulp container with a neck portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of the plant fiber pulp container;

providing a cap portion, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the hollow body comprises a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the neck portion;

- applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface; and pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other, thereby attaching the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface to each other sealingly, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container;

alternatively inductively sealing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface.

Description:
Plant fiber pulp closure for a container and method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with a closure

The present disclosure relates to a plant fiber container closure for a plant fiber container. The container closure comprises a plant fiber pulp container portion and a cap portion and can be used for example to seal a plant fiber container comprising a liquid, such as a carbonated liquid. The disclosure further relates to a method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with a closure.

Background of invention

Traditionally, many beverages are supplied in glass bottles. While glass can be recycled, it requires that the bottles are separated from other waste. The energy for manufacturing and transporting the bottles is also relatively high. Plastic containers have also been known for long. More recently fiber bottles have been introduced, which, in some cases, are biodegradable. Such fiber bottles may typically be made of paper pulp.

One problem with fiber bottles is that the cap is typically not made of fiber since it has to meet a number of physical requirements related to for example the strength of the sealing and the ability to withstand pressure from the inside of the bottle. Therefore the caps for fiber bottles are typically made of for example plastics or metals or other material that cannot be considered to be biodegradable. Such cap designs may involve for example a threaded cap or a snap-fitted cap. It would typically not be suitable to use threaded or snap-fitted caps of fiber since the paper material is not strong enough for these solutions and would not be able to withstand the inner pressure of the bottle with liquid. Summary of invention

The present disclosure relates to a closure, made from plant fiber pulp, for a container. The container closure comprises a cap portion and a container portion, both made from plant fiber pulp, which is a biodegradable material. The plant fiber pulp container portion may comprise a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container, i.e. the container portion may for example constitute the upper part of a bottle with its opening. The closure may further comprise a cap portion, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, i.e. it may have for example the basic shape of a bottle cap. The open end of the cap portion may be adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion, which means that the cap may seal the bottle. The sealing of the two parts may be achieved by a tapered inner contact surface of the hollow body and the tapered outer contact surface of the container portion. The two areas may be adapted to be sealingly attached to each other. The present disclosure therefore provides a solution of a cap for a container such as bottle, wherein both the cap and the container are biodegradable.

The contact surfaces of the parts can be said to enable a solution in which both the container and the cap can be made from plant fiber material, and according to which the sealing can be sufficiently strong and tight to withstand an inner pressure of a liquid of the container. The two parts may be shaped such that the inner and outer surfaces form a common sealed surface, which preferably is tapered and which has an area that is sufficiently large to constitute a sealing capable of meeting the requirements related to the inner pressure of the container. By using a tapered shape of the surfaces that are attached to each other, the area can be increased, thereby fulfilling the physical requirements related to the ability to withstand the inner pressure of the container.

The pressure in for example a bottle containing a carbonated liquid, for example beer, may be approximately 2 bar, depending on the temperature and other parameters. In one embodiment the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface are arranged to withstand an inner pressure of a carbonated liquid in the fiber pulp container. In one embodiment the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface being arranged to withstand an inner pressure of the plant fiber pulp container of at least 2 bar, preferably at least 4 bar, more preferably at least 6 bar depending on the requirements.

In general the container only has one opening. The opening of the container (and thereby the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion) may have an impact on the total force on the cap from the inside of the container. Therefore, in one

embodiment the common tapered sealed surface is an area that is adapted to the cross-sectional area of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion such that the requirements related to the ability to withstand the inner pressure of the container are met. In one embodiment the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 2-20 cm 2 and the common tapered sealed surface has an area of 20-60 cm 2 , preferably wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 5-10 cm 2 and the common tapered sealed surface has an area of 20-50 cm 2 . Alternatively the relation between the two areas is expressed as a ratio. Therefore, in one embodiment the area of the common tapered sealed surface is at least as large as the area of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container, preferably at least a factor 1 .5 larger, more preferably at least a factor 2 larger, more preferably at least a factor 3 larger, even more preferably a factor 5 larger, most preferably a factor 10 larger.

The disclosure further relates to a method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with an integral plant fiber pulp closure, comprising the steps of:

providing a plant fiber pulp container with a neck portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of the plant fiber pulp container;

providing a cap portion, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the hollow body comprises a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the neck portion;

applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface; and pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other, thereby attaching the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface to each other sealingly, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container;

alternatively inductively sealing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface.

Description of drawings

Fig. 1 A shows one embodiment of the presently disclosed container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber pulp, the closure comprising a container portion (2) and a cap portion (5), wherein the portions have not been attached to each other.

Fig. 1 B shows the container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber pulp of fig. 1 A, wherein the portions are sealingly attached to each other.

Fig. 2 shows one embodiment of the presently disclosed container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber, wherein the portions are sealingly attached to each other, and wherein the capsule part (12) has been removed from the rest of the cap portion (5) to open the container/bottle. Figs. 3A and 3B show one embodiment of the plant fiber pulp container portion (2) having a tapered outer contact surface (3), wherein glue has been applied in slot lines (16) (fig. 3A) and dots (17) (fig. 3B) respectively.

Detailed description of the invention

The present disclosure relates to a container closure made from plant fiber pulp, said container closure comprising:

a plant fiber pulp container portion made from plant fiber pulp, said container portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container;

a cap portion preferably made from plant fiber pulp, said cap portion comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the open end is adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion, the hollow body having a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container.

The tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface may thereby form a common tapered contact surface The contact surfaces of the parts can be said to enable a solution in which both the container and the cap can be made from plant fiber pulp material, and according to which the sealing can be sufficiently strong and tight to withstand an inner pressure of a liquid of the container. Preferably the tapered outer contact surface of the container surface and the inner contact surface form a common, tapered sealed surface in a sealed configuration of the container closure. If the common sealed surface is sufficiently large and adapted to a predefined limit of the inner pressure of the container, the sealing is capable of withstanding the inner pressure of the container while the container and cap are made of a biodegradable plant fiber pulp material. The slightly tapered shape of the contact surface increases the contact surface in relation to the height of the surface. Thereby the strength of the sealing is also further increased.

The container on which the container closure is used may be a bottle for carrying a liquid. Preferably the entire bottle and closure is made from plant fiber pulp, which optionally may be coated. This means that after use, all parts can be put in for example a garden compost. The bottle may be a bottle for carrying a liquid, such as beer, juice, soft drinks, or other drink or beverage. In particular the presently disclosed container closure made from plant fiber pulp may be useful for bottles for carbonated liquids, which typically have a higher pressure than non-carbonated drinks. The bottle may comprise a container/bottle closure as described in the present disclosure. Preferably the inner contact area and the outer contact area form a common sealed, tapered and preferably glued, surface. The common surface may be a section of the bottle corresponding to a neck of the bottle (bottle neck). In one embodiment the container portion is an integral part of the bottle and the cap portion is an integral part of the cap. This means that the bottle can be made in two parts, which are glued together: one bottle part with a container portion as described in the present application and one cap portion. In contrast to conventional bottles and containers, there may be a common sealed and glued, tapered, section corresponding to the neck of the bottle, which ensures a sufficient attachment area for withstanding a certain inner pressure. The bottle may have a base portion, for example a substantially cylindrical base portion, seamlessly connected to an open-ended tapered outer contact surface (container portion of the closure). Physical properties of common contacts and sealing between cap portion and container portion

Preferably the presently disclosed container closure made from plant fiber pulp is configured such that it, in a sealed configuration, is able to withstand the required inner pressure of the plant fiber container. The "inner pressure" may also be referred to as "internal pressure". In one embodiment the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface are therefore arranged to withstand an inner pressure of the plant fiber pulp container of at least 2 bar, preferably at least 4 bar, more preferably at least 6 bar. This is achieved by the presently disclosed design, involving two sufficiently large contact areas of the cap and the bottle to provide a sufficiently strong sealing. In one configuration, the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface are arranged to withstand an inner pressure of a carbonated liquid in the fiber pulp container. In order to achieve a sufficiently strong sealing, the common contact surface typically needs a certain minimum area, which can be said to depend on the pressure requirements of bottle, the size of the bottle opening and the strength of the glue or other means for attaching the surfaces to each other. Typically the outer tapered outer contact surface of the container portion may correspond to the bottle neck of a bottle. The size of the common contact surface can be said to be dependent of the height of the common contact surface. In one embodiment the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface have a height of at least 20 mm, such as in the range of 20 to 70mm, for example in the range of 20 to 50 mm, preferably at least 25 mm, more preferably at least 30 mm, such as in the range of 35 to 50 mm, even more preferably at least 40 mm, most preferably at least 50 mm, thereby allowing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface to be arranged in a sealed, and e.g. glued configuration withstanding an inner pressure of a carbonated liquid. A carbonated liquid may produce an inner pressure of for example at least 2 bar, such as at least 4 bar, or at least 6 bar or in the range of 2 to 6 bar. The height of the common contact surface may have a tapered shape, in particular shaped as a section of a cone without a pointed top section.

In a sealed configuration, wherein the tapered inner contact surface of the cap portion is sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, the two surfaces may form a common sealed surface, such as a glued and/or inductively sealed area, of at least 10 cm 2 , preferably at least 20 cm 2 , such as 20-40 cm 2 , more preferably at least 30 cm 2 , even more preferably at least 40 cm 2 . Preferably the outer contact surface and the inner contact coincide in the sealed configuration in the sense that they form a joint and sealed connection between the container and the cap. The advantage of using tapered contact surfaces is twofold. Firstly, the area of the contact surfaces is increased in relation to a given height of the surfaces compared to having for example a straight and cylindrical shape. In one embodiment the tapered outer contact surface has an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion selected such that the area is maximized in relation to a given height and a given width of the neck of the fiber pulp container. Accordingly, the corresponding inner contact surface may have approximately the same angle in relation to a longitudinal extension. Secondly, by using tapered contact surfaces the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion becomes smaller which means that the total outward force directly on the cap portion from the inside of the container is becomes smaller since the cap is less exposed to the interior of the container in comparison to a design having a larger open end. In one embodiment the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are substantially truncated conical,

corresponding to cone wherein a part including the point part of the cone has been removed. The tapered outer contact surface may have an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion of at least 5°, preferably at least 10°, more preferably at least 15°, even more preferably at least 20°, most preferably at least 25° depending on the physical requirements of the container and its content. Preferably, the tapered outer contact surface may have an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion of at the most 45°. The tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface may be arranged to maximize the common contact surface. For a straight cone-shaped surface (without the pointed top section) this means that an angle can be calculated for a given height and a given width of the neck of the fiber pulp container.

As stated above the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion may influence the total force on the cap from the inside of the container. The presently disclosed container closure made from plant fiber pulp may have different shapes in terms of for example bottle neck and bottle opening. The open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion of the container closure may have a substantially circular, or substantially elliptical cross-section, or a cross-section forming a polygon, preferably an equilateral and/or convex polygon, a polygon such as a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, or a heptagon. Other non-regular shapes are also envisaged. The area of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion may have an area of in the range of 2-20 cm 2 , preferably in the range of 2-15 cm 2 , more preferably as in the range of 4-14 cm 2 , even more preferably as in the range of 5-10 cm 2 , most preferably in the range of 6-8 cm 2 . In one embodiment, both the container portion and the cap portion are shapes as sections of a cone, without the pointed top sections. This is shown in for example fig. 1 A. The container portion (2) and a cap portion (5) both have the shape of a segment of a cone without the top pointed part. In order to increase the contact surface even more, irregular, substantially tapered shapes of the inner and outer contacts surface may be envisaged.

Since the size of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion and the size of the common sealed surface have a combined impact on the ability of the container closure to withstand the inner pressure of the container through a container opening, accordingly, in one embodiment the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of in the range of 2-20 cm 2 and the common sealed surface has an area of in the range of 20-60 cm 2 , preferably wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of in the range of 5-10 cm 2 and the common sealed surface has an area of in the range of 20-50 cm 2 .

The attachment of the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface to each other in the sealed configuration also has an impact on the strength of the sealing. Ways of sealingly attaching the surfaces to each other include for example gluing and/or inductively sealing. In order to ensure that the contact between the surfaces is strong, the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface may be substantially smooth. Preferably the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are configured such that air, such as air bubbles, is pushed away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface when the inner contact surface is being sealingly attached to the outer contact surface. If the parts are glued together this can be achieved by applying the glue in slot lines or dots. If the parts are then pushed together, the air will typically be pushed towards the container portion and away from the common sealed surface such that there are no air bubbles in the common sealed surface. In one embodiment the air is therefore pushed towards and out from the open end of the hollow body of the cap portion. Container

The container made from plant fiber pulp according to the invention has a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of the plant fiber pulp container.

It is preferred that the part of the container closest to the open end is tapered, whereas the remainder of the container may have any useful shape, for example it may be essentially cylindrical. In one embodiment the container is a bottle.

Capsule and capsule perforation The presently disclosed container disclosure may also comprise a capsule portion. The idea of the capsule portion is not to have a separate part, but integrating the capsule portion as a part of the cap portion. The capsule portion typically corresponds to a part of the closed end of the cap portion and can be removed or broken off the rest of the cap portion to open the closure of the container. In one embodiment the cap portion comprises a capsule part, preferably a substantially cylindrical part with a closed top, the capsule part corresponding to an integral capsule, wherein said capsule is made from plant fiber pulp. The capsule may be cylindrical or tapered, in the form of an extension of the hollow body of the cap portion, said capsule part having a closed top, said capsule part thereby constituting an integral capsule, wherein said capsule is made from plant fiber pulp.

The cap portion may also comprise a perforation between the capsule portion of the cap and the rest of the cap portion. Therefore, in one embodiment the cap portion with capsule further comprises a perforation in the plant fiber pulp separating the capsule part and the hollow body. The perforation may be arranged around the body, such as in a circular configuration. Preferably the perforation is arranged such that the capsule part can be removed by breaking the cap portion along the perforation, thereby opening the container closure. Typically, in such a configuration, once the capsule part has been removed by breaking if off along the perforation, the capsule cannot be put back to seal the bottle. The container portion may extend through the hollow body of the cap portion beyond the perforation. In such a configuration the upper part is not attached (such as glued) to the cap portion, as shown in fig. 2. The upper and extending part of the container portion may thus serve as an opening when the capsule has been removed (i.e. when the bottle has been opened) and as a support to the capsule part of the cap portion in the sealed configuration. The upper part may extend at least 5 mm, preferably at least 7 mm, beyond the perforation in the sealed configuration of the container closure.

The capsule part may have grooves for manual rotation of the capsule part around a longitudinal axis by a user. The grooves provide a better grip when removing the capsule part to open the container/bottle.

Material and coating

One idea of the presently disclosed container closure made from plant fiber pulp is that it enables a possibility to have a container and cap, wherein both parts are

biodegradable. "Made from plant fiber pulp" shall be broadly construed such that a preferably substantially rigid end product is obtained by any conventional method for preparing items of plant fiber pulp. As used herein the term "made from plant fiber pulp" refers to that the main component of the container or container closure is plant fiber pulp. Typically, the container or container closure may consist of plant fiber pulp, and one or more layers of coating and/or printing or optionally a barrier layer e.g. as described herein below. The term "plant fiber" shall be construed broadly. The plant fiber may be selected from the group consisting of wood and cereal straw fiber. The plant fiber pulp may be prepared from any plant fiber, e.g. any of the plant fibers described herein below. The plant fiber pulp may be prepared by any conventional methods for preparing pulp, e.g. conventional methods for preparing paper pulp. Such methods may comprise subjecting plant fibers to chemical and/or mechanical treatment. Thus, the plant fiber pulp may be prepared by a method comprising one or more of the following steps:

• crushing, grinding or otherwise finely dividing plant fibers mechanically

· steaming, boiling or otherwise heating

• chemical treatment with e.g. acid or alkaline.

The plant fiber pulp may also be paper pulp. Plant fiber is obtained from a plant. Any plant producing plant fibers may be used as source of the plant fiber. Depending on the nature of the plant, various parts of the plant may be used as source of the plant fiber, for example the source of the plant fiber may be stem, leaves, roots or fruits. Preferably, the plant fiber is obtained from a plant selected from the group consisting of Abaca, Bagasse, Bamboo, Banana, Broom root, Cantala, Caroa, China jute, Coir, Cotton, Curaua, Date palm, Flax, Hemp, Henequen, Isora, Istle, Jute, Kapok, Kenaf, Kudzu, Mauritius hemp, Nettle, Oil palm, Piassava, Pineapple, Phormium, Roselle, Ramie, Sansevieria, Sisal, Sponge gourd, Cereals, Sun hemp, Cadillo/urena and Wood.

Thus, the plant fiber material may comprise fibers from one or more plants selected from the group consisting of Abaca, Bagasse, Bamboo, barley, Banana, Broom root, Cantala, Caroa, China jute, Coir, Cotton, Curaua, Date palm, Flax, Hemp, Henequen, Isora, Istle, Jute, Kapok, Kenaf, Kudzu, Mauritius hemp, Nettle, Oil palm, Piassava,

Pineapple, Phormium, Roselle, Ramie, Sansevieria, Sisal, Sponge gourd, Cereals, Sun hemp, Cadillo/urena and Wood.

Cereals may for example be selected from the group consisting of barley, wheat, rye, oat, maize, rice, sorghum, millet, triticale, buckwheat, fonio and quinona. More preferably, the cereal is selected from the groups consisting of barley, wheat, rye, oat, maize and rice, more preferably the cereal is barley. The plant fiber may for example be obtained from straw of said cereal.

In a preferred embodiment the plant fiber material may comprise fibers from one or more plants selected from the group consisting of Banana, Coir, Hemp, Pineapple, Manilla and Sisal, more preferably Sisal.

Very preferably, if plant fibers are derived from any of the aforementioned plants, they are preferably derived from the part of the plants as indicated in Table 1 below.

Fiber source Species Origin

Abaca Musa textilis Leaf

Bagasse - Grass

Bamboo (>1250 species) Grass

Banana Musa indica Leaf

Broom root Muhlenbergia macroura Root

Cantala Agave cantala Leaf

Caroa Neoglaziovia variegate Leaf

China jute Abutilon theophrasti Stem

Coir Cocos nucifera Fruit

Cotton Gossypium sp. Seed

Curaua Ananas erectifolius Leaf

Date palm Phoenix Dactylifera Leaf

Flax Linum usitatissimum Stem

Hemp Cannabis sativa Stem

Henequen Agave fourcroydes Leaf

Isora Helicteres isora Stem

Istle Samuela carnerosana Leaf

Jute Corchorus capsularis Stem

Kapok Ceiba pentranda Fruit

Kenaf Hibiscus cannabinus Stem

Kudzu Pueraria thunbergiana Stem

Mauritius hemp Leaf

Nettle Urtica dioica Stem

Oil palm Elaeis guineensis Fruit

Piassava Attalea funifera Leaf

Pineapple Ananus comosus Leaf

Phormium Phormium tenas Leaf

Roselle Hibiscus sabdariffa Stem

Ramie Boehmeria nivea Stem Sansevieria (Bowstring hemp) Sansevieria Leaf

Sisal Agave sisilana Leaf

Sponge gourd Luffa cylinderica Fruit

Straw (Cereal) - Stalk

Sun hemp Crorolaria juncea Stem

Cadillo/urena Urena lobata Stem

Wood (>10,000 species) Stem

Table 1 : List of important bio fibers

Plant fibers are commercially available from many sources. For example many plant fibers can be obtained from Randers REB international A S, Denmark (for example Sisal (white), Code no: N26-0040-001 N, Hemp (gray), Code no: N04-0060-000N and Manil. H (dark brown) Code no: N18-0060-001 N). Also plant fiber already processed into rope may be used as plant fiber. Such ropes are also available from Randers REB international A S. The ropes must be divided in smaller parts before use. Furthermore, the plant fiber pulp container portion may comprise an inner surface having a liquid impermeable coating. Preferably the whole inside is covered by a liquid impermeable coating. In one embodiment the inside of the plant fiber pulp container portion; the cap portion and the container are coated with a liquid impermeable coating, thereby allowing the container to store a liquid. The coating may be for example a plastic coating and/or a glass coating.

The container portion and cap portion, and also the rest of the container or bottle, may comprise a barrier layer for maintaining liquid, C0 2 or gases contained in or produced by a carbonated liquid. Preferably, a barrier layer is selected with properties such that a liquid into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved cannot be permeated. The barrier layer may have impermeable and biodegradable properties such that a liquid can be held in the container with closure. In particular, the barrier layer may be impermeable to water, C0 2 and 0 2 . The barrier layer may be an integral part of the plant fiber pulp packaging layer, but could also be attached onto the plant fiber pulp packaging layer. Alternatively, or in combination, the impermeability may also be provided by means of a spray coating.

The outside of the container, and/or the container portion of the closure, and/or the cap portion of the closure may also comprise a coating and/or printing. Preferably, such a coating/printing is also biodegradable and/or compostable. In one embodiment the outside of the plant fiber pulp container portion comprises an outer coating and/or printing. The glue used for attaching the container portion and cap portion may be any useful glue. Preferably, the glue is biodegradable glue. A person skilled in the art would know how to select sufficiently strong glue for the purpose of gluing closure parts made plant fiber pulp together with the purpose of maintaining a liquid in a container, preferably a carbonated liquid.

Method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with a plant fiber pulp closure

The present disclosure further relates to a method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with an integral plant fiber pulp closure, comprising the steps of:

- providing a plant fiber pulp container with a neck portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of the plant fiber pulp container;

providing a cap portion, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the hollow body comprises a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the neck portion;

applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface; and pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other, thereby attaching the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface to each other sealingly, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container;

alternatively, inductively sealing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface.

The method can be said to make it possible to create a container closure made from plant fiber pulp according to the present disclosure. The contact surfaces may be glued together but may also be sealed using inductive sealing. Inductive sealing is a technique that is widely used for sealing caps. It is a method of heating a seal that can be used to hermetically seal the top of for example a plastic and/or glass container. The inventor has found that the method also be useful for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container according to the present disclosure.

If the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface are glued together, the step of pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other may comprise pressing the tapered inner contact surface in a longitudinal axis of the container towards the bottom of the container, thereby pushing air, such as air bubbles, away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface. In this regard it may be an advantage to apply the glue such that air can flow out of the common contact surface when the parts are attached to each other. Therefore, in one embodiment the step of applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface comprises the step of applying glue such that air can flow away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface in the step of pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other. This means that the glue may be applied in slot lines or dots. The slot lines may extend in the substantially longitudinal direction of the tapered outer contact surface and/or the tapered inner contact surface. Alternatively the slot lines may be arranged in a spiral pattern or like the threads of a screw along either the tapered outer contact surface or the tapered inner contact surface.

The method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container may be used to manufacture any embodiment of the container closure made from plant fiber pulp of the present disclosure.

In one embodiment at least one of the steps of preparing a plant fiber pulp container and providing a cap portion comprises the step of impulse drying plant fiber pulp to obtain the plant fiber pulp container and/or the cap portion. The container portion and the cap portion are usually prepared as two individual items, which may later be sealed to each other.

The container portion and plant fiber cap portion may be prepared by any conventional method for preparing items of plant fiber pulp. In preferred embodiments of the invention both the container and the cap are prepared individually by impulse drying of plant fiber pulp using a mold in the shape of the container portion and the cap portion, respectively. In one embodiment the container portion and the cap portion are individually prepared by a method involving:

• depositing plant fiber pulp on the inside surface of an interior cavity of a mold having a porous wall

• pressing water out of said layer of pulp, thereby initiating a flow of water through the porous wall of the mold, into an exterior cavity.

This may be done by activating a pressing tool in the form of an expandable device, for example a balloon-like device within the interior cavity.

In particular, the container portion and/or the cap portion may be prepared using an apparatus comprising a frame comprising a base supporting at least one mold, the mold including an opening to the interior of the mold, a plant fiber pulp material feeding device configured to reciprocally feeding pulp into the mold via the opening, a plant fiber pulp reservoir in communication with the pulp material feeding device, the pulp reservoir configured to hold a plant fiber pulp material, and a pulp pressure reservoir configured to provide pressure so as to deliver the pulp material from the pulp reservoir via the pulp material feeding device to the at least one mold. The method for preparing the container portion and/or cap portion may comprise the steps of operating the apparatus by supplying pressure from the pulp pressure reservoir so as to dispose the pulp material from the pulp reservoir via the pulp material feeding device to the interior of the at least one mold, and applying a vacuum pressure to the mold so that the pulp material is distributed in the mold. By supplying pressure from the pulp pressure reservoir the pulp material is disposed inside the mold. The vacuum ensures that the pulp material is distributed inside the mold and that a somewhat even layer is formed. When a layer of a certain thickness is formed the vacuum does no longer attract new pulp material. Typically, the apparatus further comprises a pressure tool configured to be inserted into the mold and the method includes applying pressure to plant fiber pulp material within the mold. The pressure tool is preferably an expandable device configured to expand so as to provide the mentioned pressure to the pulp material within the mold, the method comprising supplying a pressure to the pressure tool. The expandable device may after application of pressure be collapsed and removed from the interior of the container. The exterior cavity may be drained, such as by use of a pump, and a compressor may be activated to establish an elevated fluid pressure in the exterior cavity. Heating of the layer of pulp may be carried out by activating a heating device which may physically be located inside the interior cavity or which is configured to supply a fluid heating medium to the inside of the pressing tool. Useful method for preparing the container and the cap portion are for example described in WO2016055072, WO2016055072 and WO2012139590. For preparing the container and the cap portion of the invention the methods described in these documents may be adapted by using mold in the shape of a container or a cap portion.

Detailed description of the drawings

The invention will in the following be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. The drawings are exemplary and are intended to illustrate some of the features of the presently disclosed plant fiber pulp container closure, and are not to be construed as limiting to the presently disclosed invention. Fig. 1 A shows one embodiment of the presently disclosed container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber pulp, the closure comprising a container portion (2) and a cap portion (5), both made of plant fiber pulp, wherein the portions have not been attached to each other. The container portion (2) has an outer contact surface (3) and an open end (4). The outer contact surface (3) has a height h (1 1 ) and a width w (19). The cap portion (5) has a hollow body (6), which has inner contact surface which is not visible in the figure. The cap portion (5) also comprises an open end (7) and a closed end (8). In the example the cap portion also has a capsule part (12) with grooves (14). There is a perforation (13) separating the capsule part (12) from the rest of the cap portion (5). The angle a (10) defines an angle of the tapered surface in relation to a longitudinal extension of the cap portion. It would be possible to define the same angle for the outer contact surface (3) of the container portion (2). There is an outwardly protruding rim (15) around the plant fiber pulp container (9) separating the container portion (2) from the rest of the plant fiber pulp container (9). Fig. 1 B shows the container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber pulp of fig. 1 A, in a configuration where the cap portion (5) and container portion (2) are sealingly attached to each other. The plant fiber pulp container in this example is a bottle having a base portion (19). The outer contour of the cap portion (5) and the outer contour of a lower part of the plant fiber pulp container (9) for a smooth uninterrupted surface in the sealed configuration. Fig. 2 shows one embodiment of the presently disclosed container closure (1 ) made from plant fiber, wherein the portions are sealingly attached to each other, and wherein the capsule part (12) has been removed from the rest of the cap portion (5) to open the container/bottle. The capsule part (12) has been removed along a perforation (13), which is rather an open contour after having been cut or broken off. It can be seen that when the container has been opened in this manner, an upper part (18) of the outer contact surface (3) of the container portion (2) extends beyond the perforation (13). The upper part is not glued to the cap portion.

Figs. 3A and 3B show one embodiment of the plant fiber pulp container portion (2) having a tapered outer contact surface (3), wherein glue has been applied in slot lines (16) (fig. 3A) and dots (17) (fig. 3B) respectively. Glue could be applied in the same way on the tapered inner contact surface of the cap portion (5).

Further details of the invention

1 . A container closure made from plant fiber pulp, said container closure

comprising:

a plant fiber pulp container portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container;

a cap portion comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the open end is adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion, the hollow body having a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container.

2. A container closure made from plant fiber pulp, said container closure

comprising:

a plant fiber pulp container portion made from plant fiber pulp, said container portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of a plant fiber pulp container;

a cap portion made from plant fiber pulp, said cap portion comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the open end is adapted to be sealingly engaged with the container portion, the hollow body having a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the container portion, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container closure.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the plant fiber pulp container portion is made from plant fiber pulp, and wherein the cap portion is made from plant fiber pulp.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface being arranged to withstand an internal pressure of the plant fiber pulp container of at least 2 bar, preferably at least 4 bar, more preferably at least 6 bar.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface being arranged to withstand an internal pressure of a carbonated liquid in the fiber pulp container.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface have a height of at least 20 mm, such as 20-50, preferably at least 25 mm, more preferably at least 30 mm, such as 35-50 mm, even more preferably at least 40 mm, most preferably at least 50 mm.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the inner contact area and the outer contact area, in a sealed configuration, form a common sealed surface, such as a glued and/or inductively sealed area, of at least 10 cm 2 , preferably at least 20 cm 2 , such as 20-40 cm 2 , more preferably at least 30 cm 2 , even more preferably at least 40 cm 2 .

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact coincide in the sealed configuration.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the tapered outer contact surface has an angle in relation to a longitudinal extension of the plant fiber pulp container portion of at least 5°, preferably at least 10°, more preferably at least 15°, even more preferably at least 20°, most preferably at least 25°. 10. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 2-20 cm 2 , preferably 2-15 cm 2 , more preferably as 4-14 cm 2 , even more preferably as 5- 10 cm 2 , most preferably 6-8 cm 2 .

1 1 . The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 2-20 cm 2 and the common sealed surface has an area of 20-60 cm 2 , preferably wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has an area of 5-10 cm 2 and the common sealed surface has an area of 20-50 cm 2 .

12. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the area of the common sealed surface is at least as large as the area of the open end of the plant fiber pulp container, preferably at least a factor 1 .5 larger, more preferably at least a factor 2 larger, more preferably at least a factor 3 larger, even more preferably a factor 5 larger, most preferably a factor 10 larger.

13. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the open end of the plant fiber pulp container portion has a substantially circular, or substantially elliptical cross-section, or a cross-section forming a polygon, preferably an equilateral and/or convex polygon, a polygon such as a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, or a heptagon.

14. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the inner contact surface is adapted to be sealingly glued and/or inductively sealed to the outer contact surface of the container portion.

15. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are substantially truncated conical.

16. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are substantially smooth.

17. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface are configured such that air, such as air bubbles, is pushed away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface when the inner contact surface is being sealingly attached to the outer contact surface. The container closure according to item 17, wherein the air is pushed towards and out from the open end of the hollow body of the cap portion. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the cap portion comprises a capsule part, preferably a substantially cylindrical part with a closed top, the capsule part corresponding to an integral capsule, wherein said capsule is made from plant fiber pulp. The container closure according to item 19, further comprising a perforation in the plant fiber pulp separating the capsule part and the hollow body. The container closure according to item 20, further the perforation is arranged such that the capsule part can be removed by breaking the cap portion along the perforation, thereby opening the container closure. The container closure according to any of items 19-21 , the capsule part having grooves for manual rotation of the capsule part around a longitudinal axis by a user. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the container is a bottle. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the plant fiber pulp is selected from the group consisting of wood and cereal straw fiber. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein plant fiber pulp is paper pulp.

The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the plant fiber pulp container portion comprises an inner surface having a liquid impermeable coating. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the inside of the plant fiber pulp container portion; the cap portion and the container are coated with a liquid impermeable coating, thereby allowing the container to store a liquid. The container closure according to item 27, wherein the coating is a plastic and/or glass coating. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein the outside of the plant fiber pulp container portion comprises an outer coating and/or printing. The container closure according to any of the preceding items, wherein said container closure is adapted to be used for a container carrying liquid, such as a beer bottle or a juice bottle. A container made from plant fiber, comprising the container closure according to any of items 1 -30. A bottle made from plant fiber, comprising the container closure according to any of items 1 -30. A method for manufacturing a plant fiber pulp container with an integral plant fiber pulp closure, comprising the steps of:

providing a plant fiber pulp container with a neck portion having a tapered outer contact surface and an open end corresponding to the opening of the plant fiber pulp container;

providing a cap portion, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, wherein the hollow body comprises a tapered inner contact surface adapted to be sealingly attached to the outer contact surface of the neck portion;

applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface; and pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other, thereby attaching the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface to each other sealingly, thereby sealing the plant fiber pulp container;

alternatively inductively sealing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface.

34. The method according to item 33, wherein at least one of the steps of proving a plant fiber pulp container and providing a cap portion comprises the step of impulse drying plant fiber pulp to obtain the plant fiber pulp container and/or the cap portion.

35. The method according to any of items 33-34, wherein the step of pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other comprises pressing the tapered inner contact surface in a longitudinal axis of the container towards the bottom of the container, thereby pushing air, such as air bubbles, away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface.

36. The method according to any of items 33-35, wherein the step of applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface comprises the step of applying glue such that air can flow away from between the outer contact surface and the inner contact surface in the step of pressing the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface against each other.

37. The method according to item 36, wherein the step of applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface comprises the step of applying the glue in slot lines or dots.

38. The method according to any of items 36-37, wherein the step of applying glue to at least one of the tapered outer contact surface and the tapered inner contact surface comprises the step of applying the glue in slot lines extending substantially in the longitudinal direction of the tapered outer contact surface and/or the tapered inner contact surface. 39. The method according to any of items 33-38, using the plant fiber pulp

container portion and cap portion of any of items 1-30.

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