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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
RECYCLABLE ADHESIVE TAPE DISPENSING PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/112450
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tape dispenser which is recyclable as a paper product is provided. The dispenser is fabricated from paperboard, molded pulp, and polylactide elements entirely or almost entirely, whereby, once the tape is exhausted, the dispenser may be easily recycled.

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Inventors:
WALSH DIANE L (US)
CHUNG CHANSEOL (US)
TAYLOR CURTIS P (US)
Application Number:
US2008/055639
Publication Date:
September 18, 2008
Filing Date:
March 03, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HENKEL CORP (US)
WALSH DIANE L (US)
CHUNG CHANSEOL (US)
TAYLOR CURTIS P (US)
International Classes:
B26F3/00; B65H35/00
Foreign References:
US3743151A1973-07-03
JPH08217316A1996-08-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG, Thomas, E. (1100 Superior Avenue7th Floo, Cleveland OH, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS:

1. A tape dispenser comprising, at least one side wall; a tape cutter adapted to cut a length of tape from a roll of tape supported in the dispenser; the improvement comprising said tape dispenser including said side wall, and said tape cutter all being paperboard, molded pulp, polylactide, starch based biodegradable polymer and/or combinations of them.

2. The tape dispenser of claim 1 wherein said tape cutter is a polylactide tape cutter.

3. The tape dispenser of claim 1 wherein said dispenser at least partially surrounds a roll of tape comprising a tape core and a length of tape wound about said core in several turns, said tape core being a polylactide tape core.

4. The tape dispenser of claim 2 wherein said dispenser at least partially surrounds a roll of tape comprising a tape core and a length of tape wound about said core in several turns, said tape core being a paper tape core.

5. A recyclable adhesive tape dispensing product comprising: at least one side wall; a hub adapted to support a roll of adhesive tape; a tape core rotatable supported on said hub; a length of adhesive tape wound upon said core in several turns, said core and said length of tape forming a roll of adhesive tape; a tape cutter adapted to cut a length of tape from said roll of adhesive tape; said at least one side wall, said hub, said tape core and said cutter all being exclusively paperboard, molded pulp, polylactide, starch based biodegradable polymer and/or a combination thereof whereby, upon the exhaustion of said length of adhesive tape, said adhesive tape dispensing product may be recycled as a paper recyclable.

6. The tape dispenser of claim 5 wherein said tape cutter is a polylactide tape cutter.

7. The tape dispenser of claim 6 wherein said tape core is a polylactide tape core.

8. The tape dispenser of claim 6 wherein said tape core is a paper tape core.

9. An improved adhesive tape dispenser product comprising: a housing having at least one side wall and a cutter support; a cutter supported by said cutter support; a roll of tape comprising a core and a length of adhesive tape wound upon said core, said roll of tape being retained at least partially within said housing; the improvement comprising said housing being paperboard, molded pulp or a combination of paperboard and molded pulp and said cutter is a biodegradable polymer cutter, whereby said tape dispenser is recyclable as a paper product.

10. The improved adhesive tape dispenser product of claim 9, wherein said cutter is a polylactide polymer cutter.

11. The improved adhesive tape dispenser product of claim 10, wherein said tape core is a biodegradable polymer core.

12. The improved adhesive tape dispenser product of claim 10 wherein said tape core is a polylactide polymer cutter.

Description:

RECYCLABLE ADHESIVE TAPE DISPENSING PRODUCT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to adhesive tape products and more particularly to a consumer or stationery adhesive tape product comprising a roll of adhesive tape on a dispenser with a cutter for severing pieces of adhesive tape for use by the consumer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Pressure sensitive adhesive tape products are widely used in packaging, in offices, in the home and elsewhere. Adhesive tape is often sold as a roll of many layers of tape wound on a cylindrical core. The core is often paper or plastic. One popular adhesive tape product comprises a dispenser having at least one side wall, a hub attached to the side wall, a roll of adhesive tape rotatably mounted on the hub and a cutter allowing an end user to remove selected lengths of adhesive tape from the roll of adhesive tape and cut them off for use. A frequently encountered version of this product has a plastic housing forming a side wall and hub and supporting a metal or plastic cutter. A roll of tape is supported on the hub. This product is sold as a disposable adhesive tape dispenser in many large retail stores. The product is often sold mounted on a paperboard merchandiser which is in turn mounted on horizontally extending pegs or upon shelves. A consumer purchases this product, removes at least a portion of the card board merchandiser and throws it away and retains the dispenser for use as needed. Tape is dispensed until the tape is exhausted and the dispenser is then discarded.

[0003] The above described example of an adhesive tape product is used widely by retail consumers and also used in office situations and elsewhere. Many people, retailers and organizations like the convenience and low cost of this product. There is no need to purchase an expensive, reusable dispenser. The product is compact and easy to use. The product is familiar. However, there are difficulties with this product. Once the tape is exhausted, the left over dispenser often includes several different components. There is a plastic housing, a tape core attached to the plastic housing which is either a paper core or a plastic core. If it is a plastic core, the core often has the appearance of being a different kind of plastic from the plastic used in the housing. The housing also usually has a cutter. Sometimes this cutter is merely

a sharpened edged on the plastic housing. Sometimes this cutter is metal. A portion of the paperboard merchandiser is also often retained with the housing as one of the side walls. Thus, the finished product has components of different types and is therefore not easily recyclable. Because of this, it is often thrown in the trash. [0004] Many consumers and business organizations are concerned with the creation of waste products and wish to minimize waste products by recycling. Recycling is encouraged by some governmental organizations and business organizations by the provision of recycling containers. Such containers are often marked to encourage deposit of particular recyclable items. Thus, a container may be marked for aluminum cans. Other receptacles are marked for paper recycling. [0005] Some plastics are also recycled. Some plastic products are marked with a recycle marking including a number indicating the type of plastic as different plastics are recycled in different ways. Thus, various materials are often separated one from the other in a successful recycling effort. Products containing a mix of material are therefore difficult to recycle.

[0006] Most plastics are made from oil or natural gas. The excessive consumption of oil and natural gas is viewed negatively by many people. Many plastics do not easily degrade. When disposed of, for instance in a landfill, many plastics will retain their integrity for many years.

[0007] Consumers and retailers have also become conscious of the amount of packaging associated with a product. Moreover, packaging adds cost to a product. The handling of the packaging at the retail level adds costs to the distribution of a product. The handling and disposal of packaging by the consumer adds inconvenience to products.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention contemplates a new and improved adhesive tape dispensing product which overcomes the above-referred to problems and others. The present invention provides a roll of tape on a tape dispenser which is inexpensive to manufacture, uses a minimum of packaging materials, provides a convenient tape dispensing experience to the consumer, and is easily recyclable upon the exhaustion of the tape.

[0009] Briefly stated, in accordance with the invention, there is provided an adhesive tape dispensing product comprising a dispenser having at least one side

wail, the dispenser being adapted to support a roll of tape. A cutter is also supported by the side wall and is adapted to cut tape from the roll of tape. The tape dispenser, including the side wall and cutter, is exclusively, or for the most part, paperboard, molded pulp, molded cornstarch, polylactides, starch based polymers, other paper based material and/or combinations thereof. Upon the exhaustion of the length of adhesive tape, the adhesive tape dispensing product may be recycled as a paper recyclable. Variations of the invention include some removable non-paperboard elements, such as a plastic core which can be removed prior to recycling.

[0010] Further in accordance with the invention, the dispenser is biodegradable.

[0011] Further in accordance with the invention, the tape cutter is a non-metallic tape cutter having a hard edge comprised of molded cornstarch, polylactides, starch based polymers and/or other paper like material.

[0012] Yet further in accordance with the invention, the dispenser side wall, the dispenser hub (if present) and all parts of the dispenser are exclusively paperboard, molded pulp, polylactides, starch based polymers, and/or molded cornstarch or combinations thereof whereby the entire dispenser is recyclable as a paper recyclable.

[0013] Yet further in accordance with the invention, the tape core is polylactide or other starch based polymer or a paper tape core whereby once the body of tape is exhausted, the remnants of the roll of tape may be recycled as a paper recyclable.

[0014] Further in accordance with the invention, the merchandiser card is sometimes manufactured as part of the dispenser.

[0015] Further in accordance with the present invention, packaging is integrated into the dispenser portion of the product minimizing packaging costs, minimizing packaging, and making the packaging recyclable as a paper product by the consumer. The portion of the packaging, the display card, which can be separated from the dispenser, is easily recycled as a paper recyclable.

[0016] Applicants have found that a tape dispenser product comprised primarily of paperboard and molded pulp with the addition of a biodegradable polymer cutter is economical to manufacture, has a sufficient lifetime for its intended purpose, can be made so the dispenser is recyclable as a paper product and can be made so the dispenser is biodegradable.

[0017] If the dispenser is recycled, it may be entirely recycled as a paper product. if the dispenser is not recycled but discarded, and finds it way to a landfill, it will

biodegrade as a paper/biodegradable material in a favorable manner and relatively short time.

[0018] If the tape core is also a paper or biodegradable polymer, preferably a polylactide, then the entire product residue after exhaustation of the tape is recyclable as a paper product and biodegradable.

[0019] It is a principle object of the present invention to provide an adhesive tape dispensing product which is inexpensive to manufacture, can be merchandised with a minimum of packaging, can be easily and conveniently used by the consumer as a source of discrete pieces of tape, and which can be easily recycled upon exhaustion of the tape.

[0020] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a recyclable adhesive tape dispensing product in which all or most of the elements except the adhesive tape itself are recyclable as paper recyclables.

[0021] It is still another object of the present invention to provide an adhesive tape dispensing product which has a familiar look to the consumer, which will be intuitively easy to use, and which is easily merchandisable.

[0022] It is another object of the present invention to provide a packaged adhesive tape dispensing product which introduces a minimum of materials into the waste product stream and uses a minimum of packaging.

[0023] It is another object of the invention to provide a tape dispensing product using a minimum of non degradable materials.

[0024] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and from the accompanying drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] SHEET 1 is a summary and index showing 11 different embodiments of the invention in line drawing form, each embodiment being identified by a capital letter;

[0026] SHEET 2 is an illustration of the Type B embodiment showing the tape dispenser in the assembled form on the right side and a somewhat schematic cross sectional view of the dispenser in the upper left corner;

[0027] SHEET 3 is another illustration of the Type B embodiment showing the embodiment with one side wall opened to allow visual inspection of the interior of the dispenser and the cross section repeated in the upper left hand corner;

[0028] SHEET 4 is a further illustration of the Type B embodiment showing in the right hand of the sheet the tape dispenser with side wall opened and the bottom surface of the dispenser visible while showing the assembled dispenser and a cross section in the upper left hand corner;

[0029] SHEET 5 is layout of the paperboard blank used to construct the outer walls of the Type B embodiment;

[0030] SHEET 6 shows a perspective view of the Type S embodiment with a cross section of the embodiment shown in the upper left hand corner;

[0031] SHEET 7 shows another perspective view of the Type S embodiment with the cross section in the upper left hand corner;

[0032] SHEET 8 shows a layout of the paperboard blank used to construct the outer walls of the Type S embodiment;

[0033] SHEET 9 shows a perspective view of the Type W embodiment with a cross section of the embodiment seen in the upper left hand corner;

[0034] SHEET 10 shows a perspective view from another direction of the Type W embodiment with a cross section and front view shown in the upper left hand corner;

[0035] SHEET 11 shows the layout of the paperboard blank used to construct the outer walls of the Type W embodiment;

[0036] SHEET 12 shows a perspective view of the Type C embodiment with a side view and top view seen in the upper left hand corner;

[0037] SHEET 13 shows the Type C embodiment in perspective from the direction opposite the perspective of SHEET 12 with the side view and the front view in the upper left hand corner;

[0038] SHEET 14 shows another perspective of the Type C embodiment rotated approximately 90° from the perspective seen in SHEET 13;

[0039] SHEET 15 shows a layout of the paperboard blank used to construct the outer walls of the Type C embodiment;

[0040] SHEET 16 shows a perspective view of the Type R embodiment with a cross section and front view shown in the upper left hand corner;

[0041] SHEET 17 shows a perspective of the Type R embodiment rotated approximately 90° from the perspective seen in SHEET 16;

[0042] SHEET 18 shows a layout of the paperboard blank used to form the outer walls of the Type R embodiment;

[0043] SHEET 19 shows a front view of the Type R embodiment with a merchandising header attached on the left hand side and several instances of the

Type R embodiment with a header attached as displayed on a peg as if for retailing;

[0044] SHEET 20 shows the Type V embodiment in a perspective view with a top view and cross sectional view seen in the upper left hand corner;

[0045] SHEET 21 shows a perspective view taken from the top of the Type V embodiment with a cross sectional view and top view seen in the upper left hand corner;

[0046] SHEET 22 shows a perspective view of the Type V embodiment rotated about 90° with respect to the perspective view seen in SHEET 20 with a top view and cross section seen in the upper left hand corner;

[0047] SHEET 23 shows the lay out of the paperboard blank used to construct the side walls, bottom wall and top wall of the Type V embodiment;

[0048] SHEET 24 shows several instances of the Type G embodiment including a merchandising card on a peg in the upper right hand corner and the front and back of one side wall of the dispenser and its attached merchandiser in the lower left of the sheet;

[0049] SHEET 25 shows a first perspective of the Type G dispenser in the lower left and a second perspective of the Type G dispenser rotated about 120° with respect to the first perspective in the upper right of the SHEET;

[0050] SHEET 26 shows the components of the Type G embodiment of the dispenser in the disassembled state;

[0051] SHEET 27 shows a perspective view of Type F embodiment of the dispenser in the left hand side and a side view of the Type F in a line drawing format in the lower right hand corner;

[0052] SHEET 28 shows two additional perspectives of Type F dispenser rotated to show the side opposite the side seen in SHEET 27 and to show the cutter bar portion of the dispenser in greater detail;

[0053] SHEET 29 shows two perspectives of the Type E embodiment of the present invention, one emphasizing the cutter bar and the second emphasizing the back portion of the dispenser and also shows a side view of the dispenser in the upper left hand corner;

[0054] SHEET 30 illustrates the Type H embodiment of the dispenser with a perspective of the assembled dispenser seen in the lower right hand corner, a side view seen in the lower left hand corner and the disassembled components seen above the side view;

[0055] SHEET 31 shows two perspectives of the Type M embodiment of the invention, the dispenser shown in the open state on the left hand portion of the sheet and shown in the closed state in the right hand portion of the sheet and side views of the dispenser in line drawing format seen in the lower right hand corner;

[0056] SHEET 32 is a further illustration of the Type M embodiment of the dispenser showing the components in the disassembled state in the foreground and perspectives of the assembled dispenser in the right background both open and shut, and repeating the lines drawing side views in the upper left hand corner;

[0057] SHEET 33 shows several examples of the Type R embodiment (also seen on SHEETS 16-19) as created from paperboard blanks some of which have integral merchandising headers;

[0058] SHEET 34 is a more detailed illustration of a Type R embodiment of the invention folded from a paperboard blank;

[0059] SHEET 35 is a more detailed view of two of the Type R embodiments seen on SHEET 33;

[0060] SHEET 36 is a more detailed view of one of the embodiments seen on

SHEET 33 showing it from the front of a dispenser on the left hand side and from the back of the dispenser on the right hand side;

[0061] SHEET 37 is a layout of the paperboard blank used to create the dispenser and merchandising header seen in SHEET 36;

[0062] SHEET 38 is an illustration of the Type R dispenser seen in SHEETS 33-

37 as printed and ready for merchandising;

[0063] SHEET 39 shows another prototype embodiment of the Type R dispenser having a different configuration of paperboard blank providing a different merchandising header;

[0064] SHEET 40 shows another implementation of the Type R embodiment as a double dispenser pack with a single merchandising header, the front of the product seen on the left and the rear of the product seen on the right;

[0065] SHEET 41 shows the layout of the paperboard blank used to the create the prototypes in seen in SHEET 40.

[0066] SHEET 42 is a layout of another paperboard blank used to create the

Type R embodiment showing cut lines as solid lines and fold lines as dashed lines with illustrations of the cut and folded dispenser (before application of the cutter) in the lower right hand corner;

[0067] SHEET 43 shows a cutout prototype blank according to the layout seen on

SHEET 42;

[0068] SHEET 44 is a photo illustration of the Type R prototype constructed from the blank illustrated on SHEETS 42 and 43 without a cutter bar;

[0069] SHEET 45 is a top view perspective photo of the dispenser seen on

SHEET 44;

[0070] SHEET 46 is front view of the dispenser seen in SHEETS 44-45;

[0071] SHEET 47 is a top view of the Type R dispenser seen in SHEETS 44-46;

[0072] SHEET 48 is a rear view of the Type R dispenser seen in SHEETS 44-47;

[0073] SHEET 49 is a rear oblique perspective view of the dispenser seen in

SHEETS 44-48;

[0074] SHEET 50 is a front, side oblique of the dispenser seen in SHEETS 44-49; and,

[0075] SHEET 51 is a side view of the dispenser seen in SHEETS 44-50 showing a roll of tape in the dispenser with a piece of tape extending from the dispenser as about to be cut and dispensed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0076] Referring now to the illustration SHEETS wherein the showings are for the purposes of illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention only and not for the purposes of limiting same, the SHEETS show a variety of tape dispensing products having some unifying characteristics. One unifying characteristic is the choice of materials used. These materials will be described in more detail here to simplify the description of the structure of the preferred embodiments hereinafter. [0077] Some elements of the preferred embodiments are paperboard elements. Paperboard is generally a planar material fabricated primarily from wood pulp, recycled paper and the like and having a thickness and stiffness greater than ordinary writing paper. Consumers sometimes refer to paperboard as cardboard. Examples of paperboard include the cards upon which many consumer products are mounted for display on hooks at retail stores. Paperboard is also often used for

packaging of clothing items such as shirts, ties, blouses, and the like. Paperboard is recyclable as a paper product. Paperboard often bears pertinent information printed on one or both faces.

[0078] Corrugated board is another paper-based product consisting of two flat sheets of paper with a corrugated or "wavy" sheet of paper between them. The three sheets of paper are glued together forming a stiff board often seen as boxes. The three sheets of paper are often glued together by means of a glue based on cornstarch. Corrugated board is a paper product and is recyclable as a paper product. This includes the corn-based adhesive used to bind the paper sheets together.

[0079] Molded pulp is another packaging material often made from recycled paper products or other wood fiber material. Examples of molded pulp include egg cartons and beverage carriers often distributed at coffee shops and fast food outlets when a patron purchases more than two cups of coffee to go. Molded pulp products often have a thickness of 1/16 inch or greater and are relatively stiff. Molded pulp products are often used in place of foamed plastic in packaging and in other similar applications. Molded pulp products are recyclable as paper products. Paperboard, molded pulp and paper products are also biodegradable. In a favorable environment, paper products, such as paperboard and molded pulp will biodegrade in less than one year.

[0080] Cornstarch is a vegetable product which can be processed into food products, adhesives, and many other products. Cornstarch based adhesives are used in corrugated board. Therefore, cornstarch is an expected and accepted material in paper recycling.

[0081] Biodegradable polymers are commercially available. One group of biodegradable polymers is known as polylactides or polylactic acid polymers. These polymers are often made from vegetable based materials such as cornstarch. They are sometimes referred to as "PLA" polymers. These polymers may be fabricated into relatively stiff shapes capable of cutting such as disposable tableware. Products fabricated from these materials will maintain their physical integrity for reasonable periods of time until placed in an appropriate biodegradation environment, such as a compost facility, where the actions of bacteria and the like degrade the material primarily into water and carbon dioxide. In ideal situations, this breakdown can be completed in a matter of months.

[0082] Because PLA materials are based on cornstarch or other vegetable based materials (e.g. sugar cane) they do not chemically contaminate a recycle process. There are other similar biodegradable polymers including polyhydroxybutyrate but PLAs are the biodegradable polymer group for use in the present invention. Polylactide polymers are relatively expensive materials, especially when compared to paperboard and molded pulp.

[0083] The above described materials are used in consumer products throughout the United States and indeed the world. These products are commercially available from a number of sources. Paper and molded pulp products are relatively inexpensive and can be processed by many conventional means. Biodegradable polymers can also be fabricated in many conventional ways. These products, when not contaminated or mixed with improper elements, can all be recycled as paper products without disrupting the recycling process.

[0084] Referring now to SHEET 1 , line drawings of the various embodiments of the invention are presented and identified as "Type R", "Type B", "Type W", etc. Each of the embodiments is a consumer oriented tape dispensing product. Each of the embodiments comprises a roll of adhesive tape carried upon a core which is in turn carried upon a dispenser body having at least one side wall and supporting a tape cutter.

[0085] As previously described, a roll of tape comprises a core upon which is wound a length of adhesive tape for dispensing. The core is conventionally often a cylinder of thick paperboard or a plastic part with an outer cylindrical surface. Plastic cores are often used for stationery type transparent tape as a means of controlling telescoping. Paper cores are often used on wider tapes, such as two inch packaging tape. In some embodiments of the present invention, a plastic core may be used as it is easily separated from the remaining portions of the dispenser for recycling. However, it is contemplated that cores fabricated from PLA materials will have the shape and features necessary to address the telescoping issues normally addressed with a plastic core. Thus, it is contemplated to use both plastic cores and recyclable, biodegradable, PLA core as well as paper cores in the present invention. [0086] The first embodiment illustrated in detail is the Type B dispenser embodiment shown in perspective and line drawing cross section on SHEET 2. The tape dispenser housing in the Type B dispenser is fabricated from paperboard and has a first side wall, a bottom wall, a front wall, a top wall, a back wall and a second

side wail. Referring to SHEET 3, one sees the housing of the Type B dispenser partially disassembled with one side wall folded away from the roll of tape. It can be seen that the various wall elements are all pieces of the same piece of paperboard. Referring to SHEET 5, the paperboard blank used to make the Type B dispenser housing is seen with the outline of the blank and internal cuts shown in solid lines while fold lines are shown as dash lines. The two side walls are completely surrounded by dash lines and are mirror images one of the other. A rectangular portion is disposed between the two side walls. This rectangular portion forms the bottom wall and has a U-shaped die cut opening with a tongue sticking into the die cut. The tongue shows two dashed lines where the tongue is folded to form a tab extending into the Type B housing at the rear end of the bottom opening as seen in SHEET 3. As can be seen in SHEET 3, a body of tape is would upon a core and this roll of tape is contained within the housing. The end of the roll of tape exits through the rectangular opening and is led to the junction of the bottom wall and forward wall of the tape dispenser. The top, non-adhesive side of the tape, lays against the bottom wall.

[0087] The cutter seen on SHEETS 3 and 4 is adhered, riveted or otherwise fixed to the bottom wall at its front edge. The cutter is preferably a rigid, cornstarch based flat piece with a serrated sharp leading edge. The preferred cutter is a PLA cutter. The end of the tape separated from the roll is placed against the under side of the cutter and the under side of the bottom wall when tape is being dispensed and the dispenser pulled along a substrate upon which one wishes to apply a length of tape. When the end of the desired placement of tape is reached, the housing is tipped up and the cutter brought into contact with the top surface of the tape and the tape piece is cut off. The remaining portion of tape may then fall away from the cutter and bottom outwardly facing surface of the tape dispenser and fall back towards the inwardly extending tab formed at the back of the opening in the bottom wall. When the piece of tape encounters the tab, the adhesive lightly sticks to the surface of the tab retaining the end of the tape ready for the next application. [0088] As can be seen in SHEET 3, the roll of tape is surrounded by the housing of the dispenser but free floating in the housing of the dispenser. Thus, the tape core does not ride upon a hub. Rather, the outer surfaces of the roll of tape sit on the various front, bottom, rear and top walls and are restrained from lateral motion by the two sides. This dispenser is manufactured by die cutting and folding a

paperboard blank to achieve the cut lines and fold lines seen in the blank layout of SHEET 5. The cutter, which is preferably a PLA based planar element, is adhered to the bottom wall segment of the blank and the blank is folded as seen in SHEET 3 to contain a new roll of tape. The remaining side wall and the outer surfaces of the front, top and back wall are then folded over the inner portions of the front, top and side wall and adhered thereto forming a completed container. [0089] While the cutter is preferably a rigid, planar corn starch based or PLA cutter with a sharp serrated leading edge, other materials can be used. Any paper recyclable material resulting in a sharpenable rigid planar element capable of holding a sufficient edge to cut tape may be used.

[0090] The Type S tape dispenser embodiment is seen on SHEETS 6, 7 and 8. SHEET 8 show shows the blank as cut and scored to form the Type S housing. As with the Type B embodiment, the Type S embodiment has two dispenser side walls which are mirror image one of the other. The two side walls are interconnected by a rear wall and bottom panels extend from the rear wall and two side walls. Die cuts provide sideways U-outlines forming hub tabs one on each side wall. The hub tabs are folded inwardly and may be adhered to one another to loosely support the tape core of a roll of tape. As can be seen on SHEETS 6, 7 and 8 the blank seen in SHEET 8 is folded along the dash lines and the tabs on the tops and bottoms of the various panels folded over and adhered to one another forming a paperboard housing surrounding the roll of tape. A tape cutter (best seen on SHEET 6) has two legs at angles to one another and is about as wide as the top of the front wall of the dispenser. The two legs of the cutter are adhered or otherwise affixed to the top of the front wall and front of the top wall of the dispenser with a sharp serrated edge extending upwardly. PLA materials can be formed into this shape. A roll of tape supported on the hub tabs has its loose end extended from the outermost surface of the roll of tape over the top of the tape cutter extending over the serrated edge. [0091] As can be seen best on SHEET 6, the top of the tape dispensing housing is mostly open with a short horizontal portion at the front end and a short horizontal portion at the rear end. This provides access to the length of tape extending from the top of the roll of tape to the tape cutter. A user may insert a finger under this length of tape, lift the end of the length of tape off the cutter and pull the length of tape off the roll of tape. When an appropriate length of tape is extended, the length of tape is brought down against the cutter and separated from the rest of the roll.

This action and this appearance very closely resembles that of a conventional tape cutter and is intuitively obvious to most users.

[0092] The two side walls of the Type S embodiment are concave. As best seen on SHEET 6, this results in a wide base, a narrower central portion where the hub is supported and a wide top. This provides stability to the dispenser when it is sitting on a flat surface. It also stiffens and rigidifies the dispenser.

[0093] The core of the roll of tape is only loosely retained upon the two hub tabs. This retention prevents the roll of tape from spilling out of the open top, but otherwise allows the roll of tape to freely rotate. As best seen on SHEET 7, the two side walls are provided with openings at the top allowing a user to insert a finger into the housing to grasp the portion of tape extending between the roll of tape and the cutter.

[0094] As with the other embodiments of this invention, the cutter structure is preferably a PLA material or another corn starch based recyclable material which can be recycled with paper. However, other materials can be used for the cutter if needed.

[0095] The Type W embodiment of the tape dispenser of the present invention is seen on SHEETS 9, 10 and 11. SHEET 11 shows a paperboard blank used to form the housing of the dispenser seen on SHEETS 9 and 10. As seen on SHEET 11 , the blank has two side walls which are mirror image one of the other surrounded by dashed fold lines and interconnected by a back wall having a straight bottom edge, a straight top edge and two concave side edges. Bottom panels extend from the side panels. Top panels also extend from the side panels. Front panels extend from the side panels and tabs to connect the front and back walls to the bottom panels extend from the front and back panels. Identical top panels extend from the top edges of the two side panels and a top tab extends from the top edge of the back panel. These elements are folded along the dashed fold lines and adhered together to form the dispenser body seen in SHEETS 9 and 10. a cornstarch based adhesive or other paper recyclable adhesive is used in this and the other embodiments of the invention. A rectangular bottom is formed by the two bottom panels extending from the bottom of the two side panels. The two side walls are concave giving the dispenser a wide bottom and top and a narrower central section. The two top panels are folded over one another to provide a forward upper top wall segment upon which a cutter is adhered and a lower rearward wall segment. The blank seen

in SHEET 11 also shows two narrow central portions interconnecting the forward portion of the top and the rearward portion of the top. These interconnecting portions are omitted from the view in SHEET 9. Either way of creating the top wall is acceptable. In the view seen in SHEET 9, the forward and rearward panels are merely adhered together providing the panels as illustrated.

[0096] The top tab seen at the center of the blank of SHEET 11 is folded along the dash lines over the two forward segments of the top wall or under these two forward segments. The leading rectangular of this top tab is captured in a horizontal slot in the forward wall. A three layer, supported, rigid surface is thereby created to support the cutter as seen on SHEET 9.

[0097] The cutter is preferably a recyclable planar PLA cutter with a sharp leading edge as previously discussed.

[0098] The Type C dispenser embodiment is illustrated on SHEETS 12, 13, 14 and 15. SHEET 15 shows a blank (schematically) created by die cutting and scoring or otherwise from paperboard. The blank is comprised of wall panels and tabs which are folded together to create the dispenser housing seen in SHEETS 12, 13 and 14. The dispenser housing has a curved bottom wall, two side walls and a hub. The two side walls are somewhat concave where they join the bottom wall and taper from a relatively wide portion near the bottom wall to a relatively narrow portion at the hub. A hub wall and hub tabs are integral to the top of the side walls and some of the tabs are adhered to one another to form a roughly rectangular hub passing through the core of the roll of tape to be dispensed.

[0099] A PLA or equivalent cutter is attached to one edge of the bottom wall. The cutter is of a relatively complex shape having a tape retaining surface extending away from the bottom wall of the dispenser housing, a cutter edge support portion overlaying the bottom wall of the dispenser housing and an upstanding, serrated cutting edge adjacent the cutter edge support portion. The cutter edge support portion can be adhered to the bottom wall of the dispenser or the cutter can have a slot underlaying the cutter edge support portion into which the cutter bottom wall is inserted and then retained. As can be seen best on SHEET 12, the end of the body of tape on the roll of tape is retained upon the tape retaining surface of the cutter and the cutter edge support portion of the cutter. A gap exists between these two portions at which point a user may pick up the end of tape, dispense the desired length and then cut the tape segment off. The remaining portion of tape is retained

upon the cutter edge support portion and tape support surface ready for the next dispensing operation. Again, the cutter is preferably a rigid part constructed of PLA or a cornstarch based material or other material capable of holding its shape and holding an edge.

[0100] The Type R embodiment of the tape dispenser is seen in SHEETS 16, 17, 18 and 19. SHEET 18 shows the blank from the housing is constructed. The blank is seen on SHEET 18 with a back wall panel at its center, a bottom wall panel connected to the back wall panel at its bottom, a top wall panel connected to the back wall panel at its top, two side wall panels, being the mirror images of each other, connected to the two side edges of the back wall and a front wall panel connected to the left hand side wall panel. These panels and the associated tabs attached to these panels are folded to create the dispenser housing seen on SHEETS 16 and 17. As can best be seen in SHEET 16, tabs attached to the tops of the side wall are folded to a generally horizontal configuration with forward edges engaging a horizontal slot in the front wall. This provides a lowered surface between the roll of tape within the dispenser and the cutting surface and cutting bar disposed at the top of the front wall. The edges of the back wall are concave creating a back wall with wide portions at the top and bottom and a narrow portion at the center. The bottom wall is wider at the rear than at the front providing a general taper from a wide back to a narrow front for the whole dispenser. The top wall covers a portion of the roll of tape contained in the dispenser and is also tapered from a wide back to a narrow front.

[0101] As can be seen on SHEET 17, the end of the body of tape contained upon a roll of tape extends from the roll of tape to the cutting surface and cutting bar over a lowered front edge portion of the two side walls. Thus, an area where a user can easily insert a finger underneath the tape to be dispensed, grasp the tape, remove a select portion of tape and then bring the tape down across the cutter to cut the tape portion off is provided. As with previous embodiments, the entire housing save the cutter is made from paperboard or cardboard. The cutter can be made from any of the materials discussed above but a PLA cutter is preferred.

[0102] SHEET 19 shows the Type R dispenser as seen on SHEETS 16-18 with a merchandising header attached. The merchandising header is an extension of the blank seen on SHEET 18. it can be extended from the otherwise unconnected edge of the front wall panel shown in the extreme left of SHEET 18. This connection is

perforated. The dispenser is manufactured with the merchandising header integral to the paperboard forming the dispenser housing. Manufacturing costs and material part count is thereby minimized.

[0103] As seen on SHEET 19, the product is self merchandising in that the product is simply hung on a peg with appropriate indicia on the header ready for purchase by the consumer. When the consumer takes the tape dispenser product home, he simply rips off the header and recycles it as a paper product and uses the tape dispenser for its usable life.

[0104] The Type V embodiment of the tape dispenser is seen on SHEETS 20, 21 , 22 and 23. The Type V dispenser is fabricated from a paperboard blank seen on SHEET 23. The blank consists of two identical side wall panels, a top wall panel with a rectangular opening, a bottom wall panel with a short transverse slot, a front wall panel with an interior tab structure, two back wall panels attached to the top wall and bottom wall. The various panels and tabs are folded along the dashed lines to create the dispenser body seen on SHEETS 20, 21 and 22. The interior tab structure underlays a portion of the top wall panel and then bends at a fold to engage a slot in the bottom wall panel. A cutter, preferably a PLA cutter, is attached to the forward edge of the top wall panel and a roll of tape consisting of a body of tape wound upon a core is contained within the housing with the end of tape extending from the roll of tape through the opening in the top wall and engaging the cutter. The top wall curves downwardly under this portion of tape allowing a user to insert a finger under the tape, extend a portion of tape to be used and cut that portion of tape off at the tape cutter. As with the other embodiments, the tape cutter is a flat rigid part with a sharp serrated forward edge and is fixed to the top wall by adhesive or the like.

[0105] All of the Type B, Type S, Type W, Type C, Type R and Type V embodiments comprise a roll of tape formed of a tape core upon which a body of tape is wound and a tape dispensing housing formed from a sheet of paperboard scored and cut and then adhered to form a housing enclosing the roll of tape. The tape core is preferably a PLA tape core. However, a paper or plastic tape core may be used. In the preferred embodiments, the tape cutter is recyclable as a paper product. Therefore, once the tape in the dispenser is exhausted, the entire dispenser is recyclable as a paper product. Alternatively, a metal or other non-paper cutter may be placed on a panel of the dispensing housing. When the tape is

exhausted, this panel can be ripped away from the rest of the dispenser, discarded as a mixed item, and the rest of the dispenser and tape core recycled as a paper product.

[0106] The Type G embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in SHEETS 24, 25 and 26. The individual elements forming the Type G tape dispensing product are seen on SHEET 26 and comprise of a molded pulp housing member, a cutter, a roll of tape and a combined paperboard side wall and merchandiser. The roll of tape is a standard roll of tape consisting of a body of adhesive tape on a core. The molded pulp housing is a continuous element forming a bottom wall, a curved back wall, a curved top wall, a cutter support and a hub. The roll of tape is placed upon the hub, the cutter is fixed upon the cutter support and the paperboard side wall glued or otherwise fixed to the end of the hub, closing the interior of the dispenser. The end of the body of tape extends from the opening in the top wall of the dispenser and can be fed over the cutter support and cutter. As seen on SHEET 24, this structure visually strongly resembles a conventional multi-element non-recyclable tape dispenser and can be merchandised easily on a peg board. When a consumer purchase this product, the consumer may remove the merchandiser portion of the paperboard side wall and is left with a conventional appearing tape dispenser with the end of the tape extending from the housing ready to be fed over the cutter and used as needed. When the tape is exhausted, a paper recyclable dispenser is left. [0107] The Type F embodiment of the present invention is illustrated on SHEETS 27 and 28. The Type F dispenser has four principal components: a roll of tape comprising a core with a body of tape rolled upon the core; a flat, rigid PLA tape cutter with a serrated forward edge; a paperboard housing element; and, at least one molded pulp housing elements. The paperboard housing element is fabricated from a single blank of paperboard and has a flat bottom wall, a curved forward wall, a very short rectangular top wall supporting the tape cutter and two side walls which are mirror images one of the other. Each side wall has a circular opening near its rear end and a top edge which starts high over the circular opening and tapers downwardly toward the tape cutter and then abruptly back up to the tape cutter. As seen in the side views, this provides a volume under a length of tape extending from the tape roll to the cutter into which a user can extend a finger to grasp a piece of tape. The molded pulp component comprises two halves which may be joined at an edge or separately formed. Each half comprises a semicircular rear wall and a side

wall with an inwardly facing protrusion or large dimple. The two dimples pass through the openings in the side walls of the paperboard housing component into the tape core and are adhered to one another holding the three elements together. [0108] The Type E implementation of the invention is illustrated on SHEET 29. Like the Type F, the Type E has four major components, a roll of tape comprising a tape core and a body of tape wound upon the core; a flat PLA tape cutter with a serrated sharp forward edge; a paperboard housing member; and, a molded pulp housing member. In the Type E dispenser, the paperboard housing member has an elongated bottom wall which can be either flat or slightly curved at its rear end, a short inclined front wall upon which a flat tape cutter with a serrated sharp forward edge is fixed, a flat rear wall and two side walls which are mirror images one of the other. The molded pulp housing element is very similar to the molded pulp housing element in the Type F dispenser but the rear wall is much shorter. The two side walls have indentations which can be spread apart and will then spring back together again. The two indentations penetrate through round holes in the two side walls of the paper port housing element into the core of the roll of tape holding the roll of tape in place and the entire assembly together. The top edges of the paperboard housing element side walls are concave providing access to the tape allowing dispensing. [0109] Alternatively, with the Type E, the molded pulp housing element can be a two piece structure. The structure can then be fixed to the paperboard housing element by adhesive or the like in final assembly. The Type E dispenser can have protrusions on the molded pulp elements which are sufficiently deep so that the inner surfaces will meet. A dab of adhesive can be applied at this point holding entire structure together.

[0110] The Type H implementation of the tape dispenser is seen on SHEET 30. It too is comprised of a roll of tape, a paperboard tape housing element upon which a flat PLA cutter is fixed, and a molded pulp housing element. In the background on SHEET 30, the elements are shown disassembled. The paperboard housing element is fabricated from a single blank of paperboard to have a bottom wall, a forward wall, a top wall to which the cutter is fixed and two side walls, the side walls being mirror images of one another. The molded pulp element is comprised of two halves which are mirror images of one another. Each half has a central indentation with a flat circular center area surrounded by another annular side wall which is in turn surrounded by a truncated conic outer wall. The roll of tape is aligned in the

paperboard housing element with the core aligned with the holes in the two side walls and the molded pulp portion is folded into a closed housing with the two circular areas at the bottom of the depressions glued to one another forming a completed rigid housing.

[0111] The Type M embodiment is illustrated on SHEETS 31 and 32. The Type M dispenser has four major components, a paperboard housing element having a bottom wall, a very short top wall, and two side walls with circular openings in the side wall, a PLA tape cutter with a sharp serrated forward edge next to the top wall of the paperboard housing element; a roll of tape; and, a molded pulp housing element. The molded pulp housing element is comprised of two halves which are hinged together in mirror images one of the other. Large dimples forming two hub halves with flat central circular walls are surrounded by flat side walls which are in turn surrounded by curved outer walls, one outer wall being hinged to the other. Adhesive is applied to one or both of the circular hub half surfaces, the elements aligned and hub halves adhered to one another with the hub being retained inside the holes on the side walls of the paperboard housing element within the tape core. The rear end of the paperboard housing element and the rear end of the molded pulp housing elements have generally concentric curves. This allows the two elements to be rotated through an arc of about 30-50° from an open position seen on the left hand portion of SHEET 31 to a closed position seen in the right hand portion of SHEET 31. In the closed position, the cutter and the exposed leading end of tape are somewhat protected by the molded pulp half of the housing. In the open position, the end of the tape is easily accessible for dispensing tape. [0112] The Type G, Type F, Type E, Type H and Type M implementations of the invention all provide substantial hubs having cylindrical or close to cylindrical outer surfaces which support the tape core for easy rotation. A full size hub aids in smooth rotation in dispensing a length of tape.

[0113] SHEET 33 to 41 illustrate variations of the Type R embodiment of the invention.

[0114] The Type R implementation of the invention was previously discussed with reference to SHEETS 16-19. The basic blank for forming the Type R dispenser is illustrated on SHEET 18. The SHEET 18 blank uses adhesive on tape to hold the finished dispenser together. On SHEET 33, alternate blanks forming alternate implementations of the Type R dispenser are illustrated. Some of these blanks have

planar areas to form merchandising headers for single or double dispenser products. Some of these blanks explore alternate arrangements for arranging the panels on a blank still leading to the same basic dispenser arrangement. Most of these implementations use folds rather than adhesive to hold the dispenser together. The various folded blanks seen on SHEET 33 are identified by reference numbers 1-10 and explored further in SHEETS 34-41.

[0115] SHEET 34 shows tape dispenser identified by reference numeral 5 on SHEET 33. it differed from the Type R implementation seen on SHEETS 16-19 in that the blank is different and is arranged for fastening by folding in many places rather than fastening by adhesive. The blank used to achieve the dispenser of SHEET 34 is a modification of the blank seen on SHEET 37. Looking at SHEET 37, one sees that the finished side panel, rear panel, top panel and bottom panel will be identical in shape to the identical panel seen in the blank of SHEET 18. However, the margin tabs and panels attached to these principal panels are different in shape and provide for more folding over to create a joint as opposed to gluing tabs to adjacent tabs or panels. Thus, the top panel seen on SHEET 18 is a single trapezoid which is fixed by adhesion to adjacent tabs to create the top wall of the dispenser. In the blank seen on SHEET 37, the top panel has tabs adjacent each side and an extended tab having several fold marks extending from its forward edge. In assembly, the side tabs fold under the top panel along with similar tabs on the side walls and the forward tab folds under all of these side tabs and is fixed in place joining these adjacent panels without the need for adhesive. Similar joining by folding and additional tabs are seen with respect to the bottom wall where it joins the two side walls and the forward wall. Assembly still requires some glue forming the portion of the housing which supports the cutter.

[0116] SHEET 35 illustrates implementations of the Type R embodiment similar to that seen on SHEET 34 but including additional panel elements providing merchandising header boards. The implementation number 6 is a single dispenser product and is fabricated from a blank identical to that seen on SHEET 37 except the shape of the header board in the lower right hand corner is different in shape. The implementation marked No. 7 is a two dispenser product. It is fabricated from a blank which is identical to two of the blanks seen on SHEET 37, one being the mirror image of the other, joined along the lower edge of the merchandiser in the lower right comer of SHEET 37. The merchandiser header of implementation 7 has a single

peg hole near its center rather than the elongated peg hole seen on a merchandising on the blank of SHEET 37. Implementation No. 8 seen on SHEET 36 is a Type R embodiment fabricated from the blank seen on SHEET 37. it is fabricated with connections between adjacent panels being almost entirely created by folding and tucking with the exception with the need to adhesively join the top panel portions supporting the cutter.

[0117] SHEET 38 illustrates implementation No. 8 as printed as ready for merchandising at a retailer. A pleasing product which looks like a tape dispenser is presented to the consumer. The product dispenser and packaging is entirely paper recyclable or almost entirely paper recyclable. In the implementation No. 8, very little adhesive is used in the packaging and the packaging and dispenser is made of folded paperboard with the exception of the tape cutter. In a completely recyclable implementation, the tape cutter is fabricated from PLA polymers, or other materials which are recyclable as paper. The tape core can be PLA or paper. In a mostly recyclable implementation, either a plastic or metal tape cutter is used and a plastic tape core is used, both of which can be removed from the paperboard dispenser for recycling.

[0118] SHEET 39 illustrates the front (left side) and back (right side) of a single dispenser product of the Type R implementation. SHEET 40 illustrates a two dispenser product of the Type R implementation very similar to the single dispenser product seen on SHEET 39. SHEET 41 illustrates the blank used to construct the two dispenser products seen in SHEET 40. This blank consists of two of the blanks seen n SHEET 37 (without the merchandiser header seen in the lower right hand corner) with each of the dispenser blanks attached to a rectangular merchandiser header blank. The blank for the single product implementation seen on SHEET 39 consists of one half of the blank seen on SHEET 41. The blank seen in SHEET 41 is merely cut in half along the vertical center line of the rectangular merchandising panel and the peg hole moved to center on the new merchandising panel thus created.

[0119] SHEETS 42-51 illustrate another implementation of the Type R embodiment of the invention. SHEET 42 shows the outline for a blank for the Type R dispenser with cut lines shown as solid lines and fold lines shown as dashed lines. Photo-like perspectives of the finished dispenser (without the cutter attached) are seen in the lower right corner. Reference numerals are placed on the principle

panels in the blank and also on the same panels in the photos for convenience. An hour glass shaped back panel 3 has a bottom panel 5 connected to it at its bottom and a top panel 1 connected to it at its top. Side panels 2, 4 are connected to the sides of the back panel 3. The side panels are mirror images one of the other and have a top edge which is straight adjacent the back panel followed by downwardly curved section at its center and an upwardly curved section near the front end of the two side panels. A separate forward top panel 6 is provided and attached at the forward top edge of the right side panel 4. A forward panel 7 forms part of an extension from the front of the forward top panel 6. When this blank is folded along the lines as indicated, and a roll of tape placed inside, the tape dispenser as seen on sheets 44-51 is created. The dispenser created is entirely paperboard except for the cutter which is preferably a PLA polymer cutter. The cutter is placed just as in the other implementations of the Type R embodiment. This implementation minimizes the need for packaging and also provides a homogenous product and package when a header card is attached. All elements of the product can be paper recyclable except for the roll of tape itself. With respect to the roll of tape, the tape is consumed by the consumer resulting in the paperboard housing with the PLA cutter and the tape core being the only residual. A PLA tape core is preferred. A PLA tape core can be structured to address the telescoping issue which sometimes arises with narrow tape cells. Alternatively, a paper tape core can be used. In both instances, a completely paper recyclable residue of the finished product is left. Alternatively, a plastic tape core, as is already conventionally used with invisible tape, may be used and easily separated from the dispensing body for separate recycling or discarding. [0120] SHEET 43 shows a prototype blank cut in accordance with the layout seen in SHEET 42.

[0121] SHEETS 44 through 51 illustrate a prototype dispenser housing fabricated in accordance with the layout seen in SHEET 42 from the blank sheet seen in SHEET 43 from several directions. This prototype does not yet have a cutter but, the cutter will be applied as shown in the illustrations of SHEETS 16-17. [0122] Adhesive tape dispensers comprised of housing and merchandising elements fabricated from paper and paper-like materials and biodegradable polymers have been described in numerous implementations. The products provide a convenient, familiar tape dispenser to consumers with the advantages of conventional tape dispensers plus the advantage of recyclability of the

merchandising materials and dispenser once the tape is fully dispensed. Biodegradability is also provided Plastic elements and metal elements are minimized or avoided entirely. Easily recyclable paper based elements are used at every opportunity.

[0123] The exemplary embodiment has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the exemplary embodiment be construed as including all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.