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Title:
A DISPOSABLE FIBRE-BASED LID AND A LID APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/191491
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The object of the invention is a disposable fibre-based lid, made of biodegradable material, which a disposable fibre-based lid (2) fully covers the top of the brim of the disposable cup (1) and which a disposable fibre-based lid (2) preferably comprises a tear-off part (2a), and a lid apparatus, which a lid apparatus (3) preferably comprises a safety door (3a), a cup grille (3b) and a power button (3c). The disposable fibre-based lid (2) material is sustainable, recyclable and heat sealable coated cardboard. The lid apparatus (3) comprises a heat sealer (4).

Inventors:
SALOMÄKI MIKA (FI)
PÖYHÖNEN NIILO (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2020/050192
Publication Date:
September 30, 2021
Filing Date:
March 25, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DOLEA OY (FI)
International Classes:
B65D43/02; A47G19/22; B29C65/02; B31B50/00; B65D3/06; B65D41/48; B65D51/10; B65D51/16; B65D53/00; B65D81/38
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SALOMAKI OY (FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A disposable fibre-based lid for a cup having a brim, the disposable fibre-based lid (2) made of biodegradable material, which disposable fibre-based lid (2) covers the top of the brim (la) of the cup (1), characterized in that the disposable fibre-based lid (2) material is sustainable, recyclable and heat sealable cardboard material.

2. A disposable fibre-based lid according to claim 1, char acterized in that the disposable fibre-based lid (2) and the cup (1) are arranged to be fastened to each other.

3. A disposable fibre-based lid according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the disposable fibre-based lid (2) and the cup (1) are arranged to be fastened to each other by heat sealing the opposing surfaces of the lid (2) and the cup (1) together.

4. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that disposable fibre- based lid (2) comprises a tear-off part (2a).

5. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the disposable fi bre-based lid (2) comprises a printable surface for print ings (2b).

6. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that whole surface of the disposable fibre-based lid (2) is pre-printable before disposable fibre-based lid (2) forming process. 7. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that whole surface of the disposable fibre-based lid (2) is pre-perforable before disposable fibre-based lid (2) forming process.

8. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the disposable fi bre-based lid (2) comprises perforation for forming an in- let for a straw.

9. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the disposable fi bre-based lid (2) comprises perforation for forming a hole for drinking straight from the cup (1).

10. A disposable fibre-based lid according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the disposable fi bre-based lid (2) comprises perforation to form air holes preventing unwanted pressure differences from forming or allowing steam coming out from the air holes.

11. A lid apparatus, which lid apparatus (3) is arranged to fasten a disposable fibre-based lid (2) on to a cup (1), characterized in that the lid apparatus (3) comprises at least one heat sealer (4).

12. A lid apparatus according to claim 11, characterized in that the disposable fibre-based lid (2) and the top of the brim (la) of the cup (1) are fastened tightly to each other by the heat sealer (4).

13. A lid apparatus according to claim 11 or 12, character ized in that the vertical position of the heat sealer (4) is adjustable.

14. A lid apparatus according to any of the claims 11-13, characterized in that the lid apparatus comprises a sta tionary upper part (4a), and that the heat sealer (4) is arranged to move inside of the stationary upper part (4a).

15. A lid apparatus according to any of the claims 11-14, characterized in that the movement of the heat sealer (4) is automated or manually controlled, and that the lid con tainer (3d) is set to work manually or automatically.

16. A lid apparatus according to any of the claims 11-15, characterized in that the lid apparatus (3) comprises a lid container (3d), and that the lid container (3d) is set to work manually or automatically.

17. A lid apparatus according to any of the claims 11-16, characterized in that the lid apparatus (3) is arranged to be used in connection with a coffee machine or another bev erage machine.

18. A lid apparatus according to any of the claims 11-17, characterized in that the lid apparatus (3) is integrated with a coffee machine or another beverage machine.

Description:
A DISPOSABLE FIBRE-BASED LID AND A LID APPARATUS

The object of the present invention is a disposable fibre- based lid as defined in the preamble of claim 1 and a lid apparatus as defined in the preamble of claim 11.

The disposable fibre-based lid and the lid apparatus ac cording to the invention, which are hereinafter referred to as the solution according to the invention, is an environ- mentally friendly and sustainable solution for disposable lids for example for disposable cups especially for the food service and catering industry. The solution according to the invention is suitable especially for use in take away cups, that are used, for example, in cafeterias, su- permarkets, small convenience stores or fast food restau rants.

Nowadays, most of the disposable lids that are used for ex ample for take-away cups or for food packaging are made of plastic, bioplastic or other non-compostable materials. Ap proximately over 500 billion disposable cups and lids are used across the World every year. After use, this disposa ble cup and especially its non-compostable lid can easily be thrown away into the nature, without being collected in the garbage bin, as disposable cups with a lid are used on- the-go.

The major issue in the use of disposable lids made of non- compostable materials is that the unrecycled plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in the nature and marine environment. Earlier bio-plastic materials, that are made of non-fossil renewable plant-based materials, have been one solution for this problem, but unfortunately those ma terials do not fix the problem, because bioplastic materi als are not easy to recycle and these will not fully de grade in the nature or marine environment.

Plastics, when littered, cause the costs of tidying up beaches, parks or other parts of nature and that also caus es negative impact for tourism, fisheries and shipping. Plastics grade extremely slowly in nature. They accumulate in rivers, seas and beaches and plastic residues affect ma rine flora and fauna, plants as well as birds, sea turtles, seals, fish, whales and other sea animals and affect our food chain at the end.

Another problem is that plastic and bio-plastic recyclabil ity is challenging, especially how to get right materials collected to the right material stream. Often consumers throw used paper, fibre-based or other non-plastic take away cups and their plastic, bioplastic or other non- compostable lids into the same garbage bin, even if they are not the same material.

Another type of disposable lid commonly used is a composite lid for disposable cups. Small wood articles have been mixed to resin forming the lid and it is manufactured with extrusion method like manufacturing of plastic lids. Resin in the composite lid is made basically plastic (PLA) com prising polymers.

Yet another disadvantage of all today's disposable lid is a very limited printing area. The disposable lid for disposa ble cups would be a perfect place for commercial advertise- merits, product information, logos, funny pictures to chil dren, etc. Plastic, bio-plastic and composite lids are made of extrusion techniques and free printing is not possible.

The purpose of the present invention is to eliminate the aforementioned drawbacks and to provide an inexpensive, simple and environmentally friendly solution for disposable lid from renewable recyclable fiber material or other ef fectively recyclable material or biodegradable material.

The object of the present invention is to eliminate draw backs of prior art technology and to introduce a new type of disposable fibre-based lid made of biodegradable materi al, and a lid apparatus capable of heat-sealing the dispos able fibre-based lid to a disposable cup. The disposable fibre-based lid according to the invention is characterized by what is disclosed in the characterization part of claim 1 and the lid apparatus according to the invention is char acterized by what is disclosed in the characterization part of claim 11. Other embodiments of the invention are charac terized by what is disclosed in other claims.

An aspect of the invention is to achieve a disposable fi bre-based lid for a cup having a brim, the disposable fi bre-based lid made of biodegradable material, which dispos able fibre-based lid covers the top of the brim of the cup. Advantageously, the disposable fibre-based lid material is sustainable, recyclable and heat sealable cardboard materi al.

Preferably, the lid apparatus may be so small in size that it can be portable and usable in various places. In that case a coffee machine or another beverage machine can be placed as an accessory in connection with the lid apparatus according to the invention, so that the lid can be attached to a disposable cup immediately after the cup is filled with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks or other bev erages or even soups, salads or so for substantially imme diate use.

The base material of disposable fibre-based lid is prefera bly glazed board or coated board. The cardboard may also be coated on the other side with thin coating, which enable cardboard fastening to each other by sealing. When the dis posable cup and the disposable fibre-based lid are fastened to each other by heat-sealing in the lid apparatus, it com prises no additional components, like adhesives / glues, thus it is made of plain coated cardboard.

An advantage of the invention is that less material is used than in current lid solutions for disposable cups. It is also easier to transport and store lids that have smaller volume compared to traditional lid solutions.

Another advantage of the invention is that it has a better designed disposable fibre-based lid product for recycling, which allows when collected with paper cups a unified mate rial stream for the recycling schemes. The disposable fi bre-based lid material can also be made of biodegradable material and repulpable fibre-based material.

Another advantage and use of the invention, is that the disposable fibre-based lid outlook can be personalized with printings. The coated cardboard material is feasible for printing and the surface area of the disposable fibre-based lid is large, which may contain various multicolor print ings. Printings may be, for example: advertising, logos, text, product information, seasonal themes, etc. The print ing inks are selected to be food certified inks.

Another advantage of the solution according to the inven tion is that the disposable fibre-based lid can be perfo rated. The perforations could include air holes preventing unwanted pressure differences from forming, a hole for a straw, or a hole for drinking straight from the cup, for example.

Another advantage of the invention is simple and quick fas tening mechanism by lid apparatus. The solution according to the invention is suitable especially for use in take away cups, that are used, for example, in cafeterias, su permarkets, small convenience stores or fast food restau rants. The lid apparatus is also suitable for households, because the lid apparatus is quite compact, safe to use and it is reasonably priced.

In the following, the invention will be described in great er detail by the aid of some embodiments and by referring to the attached simplified drawings, wherein

Fig. 1 presents a disposable cup, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side,

Fig. 2 presents a disposable fibre-based lid for a dis posable cup in FIG. 1, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side, Fig. 3 presents a disposable fibre-based lid in FIG. 2 printed and partly perforated, as viewed oblique ly from above and from the side,

Fig. 4 presents a disposable cup in FIG. 1 fitted with a disposable fibre-based lid in FIG. 2, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side, Fig. 5 presents a disposable cup in FIG. 1 fitted with a disposable fibre-based lid in FIG. 2 partly torn off, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side, Fig. 6 presents a lid apparatus with a disposable cup in FIG. 1 fitted with a disposable fibre-based lid in FIG. 2 inside, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side, Fig. 7 presents the front view of a lid apparatus in FIG. 6 with safety door open and with a disposable fi bre-based lid in FIG. 2 placed on top of a dis posable cup in FIG. 1 inside, Fig. 8 presents the front view of a lid apparatus in FIG.

6 with safety door closed and with a disposable fibre-based lid in FIG. 2 placed on top of a dis posable cup in FIG. 1 inside, Fig. 9 presents the front view of a lid apparatus in FIG. 6 with safety door closed, with a heat seal er in extended position and with a disposable fi- bre-based lid in FIG. 2 being heat-sealed on top of a disposable cup in FIG. 1 inside, and

Fig. 10 presents the front view of a lid apparatus in FIG.

6 with safety door closed, with a heat sealer in retracted position and with a disposable fibre- based lid in FIG. 2 heat-sealed on top of a dis posable cup in FIG. 1 inside.

In Figure 1 is presented a disposable cup 1, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The disposable cup 1 is preferably manufactured from cardboard material. The top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 is preferably 3- 5 mm wide and flat or rounded in shape. Preferably, the ma terial of the disposable cup 1 contains heat-sealable mate rial.

In Figure 2 is presented a disposable fibre-based lid 2, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The disposa ble fibre-based lid 2 is preferably designed to fully cover the opening of the disposable cup 1 in FIG. 1, and it pref erably includes a protruding tear off part 2a.

The disposable fibre-based lid 2 is manufactured preferably from a coated cardboard material. The disposable fibre- based lid 2 is cut off from the coated cardboard material to the desired shape, for example round shape, by using commonly known techniques. The thickness of the disposable fibre-based lid 2 is preferably 0,1-0,4 mm. Therefore, less material is used than in current lid solutions for disposa ble cups. The shape of the tear off part 2a is essentially half round or ellipse. The diameter of the tear off part 2a is for ex ample between 10 mm to 20 mm. The length of the tear off part 2a is between 5 mm to 15 mm, for example.

The cardboard material used as the material of the disposa ble fibre-based lid 2 embodiment is sustainable environ ment-friendly cardboard utilized also e.g. in disposable cups 1. The heat sealable barrier layer for the cardboard material is made e.g. using water-based dispersion tech niques. The barrier layer is very thin comprising much less barrier material than e.g. conventional PE or PLA coated cardboards. The lid 2 according to the invention is easy to recycle with other paper products and the material is re- pulpable. Thelid 2 is also biodegradable and degrades easi ly in marine environment. The material of the disposable fibre-based lid 2 is also heat-sealable enabling the dis posable fibre-based lid 2 to fasten tightly together with the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 in FIG. 1 in a heat-sealing process without additional components, like adhesives or glues. Thus, the disposable fibre-based lid 2 contains heat-sealable barrier material. It may also be so, that the heat-sealable barrier material is only on that side of the lid 2 which is going to be fastened to the cup 1.

In Figure 3 is presented the disposable fibre-based lid 2, that has a tear-off part 2a, with printings 2b and perfora tions 2c on its surface, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The disposable fibre-based lid 2 according to this invention has a coated cardboard surface, which provides good surface for printings 2b and perforations 2c. It is possible to design various printing themes for the relatively large printing surface. The printings 2b may be utilized for advertising, for example, including logos, text, product information, seasonal themes, etc. The perfo rations 2c may be utilized, for example, as a hole for a drinking straw or a hole for drinking straight from the cup or a tiny air hole that allows air to enter the cup to pre vent unwanted pressure differences from forming while drinking or air hole allowing hot drink steam coming out of the cup.

In Figure 4 is presented the disposable cup 1 fitted with the disposable fibre-based lid 2 that has a tear-off part 2a, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The disposable fibre-based lid 2 has been heat-sealed tightly with the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 and es sentially fully covers the top of the brim la of the dis posable cup 1.

In Figure 5 is presented the disposable cup 1 fitted with the disposable fibre-based lid 2, that has a tear-off part 2a, where the disposable fibre-based lid 2 is partially torn off from the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The disposable fibre-based lid 2 has been heat-sealed tightly with the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1, and the heat-seal has been partly broken as the disposable fi bre-based lid 2 has been lifted from the tear-off part 2a.

In Figure 6 is presented a lid apparatus 3 and a disposable cup 1 fitted with the disposable fibre-based lid 2, as viewed obliquely from above and from the side. The lid ap paratus 3 preferably comprises a safety door 3a, a cup grille 3b, a power button 3c, a lid container 3d, a height adjustable heat sealer 4 and a stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4.

It is preferably possible to place the fibre-based lid 2 on top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 either manually by hand or automatically from the lid container 3d where lids are preferably stored. The height adjustable heat sealer 4 moves parallel to and inside of the stationary up per part of the height adjustable heat sealer 4a. The move ment of the height adjustable heat sealer 4 is preferably automated so that the height adjustable heat sealer 4 runs a sequence of first lowering to the level of top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1, and then retracting to the initial position after applying adequate amount of heat and pressure to heat seal the fibre-based lid 2 to the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1. The automated sequence is preferably initiated or finished by pressing the power button 3c.

The cup grille 3b is sturdy platform for the disposable cup 1 and it is preferably manufactured for example from plas tic or metal. Also, for example spills of liquids drain away through the holes of the cup grille 3b.

The stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4 protect the height adjustable heat sealer 4 against impurities, for example, and that also protects the user from burns, for example. For safety purposes, also a safety door 3a is preferably applied to protect the user from burns, for example, while the height adjustable heat sealer 4 is moving. In Figure 7 is presented the front view of the lid appa ratus 3 with the safety door 3a open and with the disposa ble cup 1 on the cup grille 3b. The fibre-based lid 2 is placed on top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1. The height adjustable heat sealer 4 is in the starting posi tion, inside of the stationary upper part of the height ad justable heat sealer 4. The power button 3c is switched off. This set-up with the safety door 3a open and the power button 3c to switched off is preferably used as the prepa ration set-up of the lidding process.

In Figure 8 is presented the front view of the lid appa ratus 3 with the safety door 3a closed and with the dispos- able cup 1 on the cup grille 3b. The fibre-based lid 2 is placed on top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1. The height adjustable heat sealer 4 is in the starting posi tion, inside of the stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4. The power button 3c is switched on. This set-up with the safety door 3a closed and the pow er button 3c to switched on is preferably used as the ini tial set-up of the lidding process.

In Figure 9 is presented the front view of the lid appa- ratus 3 with the safety door 3a closed and with the dispos able cup 1 on the cup grille 3b. The power button 3c is switched on. The fibre-based lid 2 is being heat-sealed to the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 by the height adjustable heat sealer 4, which has moved downwards or parallel to and inside of the stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4. In Figure 10 is presented the front view of the lid appa ratus 3 with the safety door 3a closed and with the dispos able cup 1 on the cup grille 3b. The power button 3c is switched on. The fibre-based lid 2 has been heat-sealed to the top of the brim la of the disposable cup 1 by the height adjustable heat sealer 4, that has been moved up wards or parallel to and inside of the stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4. The height adjustable heat sealer 4 has been retracted to the starting position to inside of the stationary upper part 4a of the height adjustable heat sealer 4. The safety door 3a can now be opened and the disposable cup 1 removed from the lid ap paratus 3. The power button 3c can now be switched off.

It is obvious to the person skilled in the art that differ ent embodiments of the invention are not limited to the ex ample described above, but that they may be varied within the scope of the claims presented below. What is essential is that the disposable fibre-based lid according to the in vention is an environmentally friendly and easily recycla ble or biodegradable lid for the disposable cups and the disposable fibre-based lid is made of heat sealable materi al. Thus, for example, the shapes and dimensions of the disposable fibre-based lid can be different to what is de scribed in the embodiments. The shape of the disposable fi bre-based lid may be for example round, ellipse, rectangle, square, rectangle with rounded edges, square with rounded edges shapes or polygon. What is essential is that the dis posable fibre-based lid according to the invention fully cover the opening of a disposable cup. It is also obvious to the person skilled in the art that the disposable fibre-based lid according to the invention can also be made from another sustainable material than mentioned in the embodiments.

It is also obvious to the person skilled in the art that the disposable fibre-based lid according to the invention may contain more than one tear-off part and, also that the size and shape of the tear-off part could be different. For example, the tear-off part can surround the whole lid.

It is also obvious to the person skilled in the art that the lid apparatus according to the invention that heat seals the disposable fibre-based lid to the disposable cup can be different. Thus, for example, the shapes and dimen sions and components of the lid apparatus can be different to what is described in the embodiments. For example, the lid apparatus may contain more than one heat sealer that makes possible to heat seal more than one disposable fibre- based lid to the disposable cup at the same time. Also, the lid apparatus according to the invention may contain more than one lid container so that it is possible to store dis posable lids of different sizes and shapes.

Also, the lid apparatus may contain a screen and control buttons or a touch screen that makes it possible, for exam ple, to control the temperature and pressure of the heat sealer or to choose the right program for the lidding pro cess, for example, to choose whether the lids are placed on top of the brim of the cup either manually or automatically from the lid container where lids are stored. Also, the lid apparatus may contain different sensors to monitor the temperature or pressure of the heat sealer or to ensure that there are enough lids in the lid container or to ensure that the safety door is locked securely before the use, for example.

Also, the lid apparatus may include an internal printer, enabling printing of different patterns to the surface of the lids, for example.

Preferably, the lid apparatus may be so small in size that it can be portable and usable in various places. In that case a coffee machine or another beverage machine can be placed as an accessory in connection with the lid apparatus according to the invention, so that the lid can be attached to a disposable cup immediately after the cup is filled with coffee, tea, cacao or other beverages for substantial ly immediate use.

Also, the lid apparatus may be integrated with a coffee ma chine or other beverage machine so that the lid can be at tached to a disposable cup immediately after the cup is filled with coffee, tea, cacao or other beverages for sub stantially immediate use.

It is still also obvious to the person skilled in the art that the cup described above can be also another type of container, for example a container for various meals, such as soups, salads and so on.

It is still also obvious to the person skilled in the art that the cup equipped with the disposable fibre-based lid according to the invention may also be other kind of cup than a disposable cup. Thus, the cup can be, for example such that it can be washed and used again.