Patent application title: Animal-Proof Trash Bag
Michael A. Digiorgio (Oak Ridge, NJ, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D3316FI
Class name: Flexible bags lifting or suspending element (e.g., handle) attached to bag frame
Publication date: 2014-08-21
Patent application number: 20140233865
A plastic trash bag, which may be reusable or disposable, has a zipper
that requires a multi-direction opening/closing motion. The
opening/closing direction of the zipper is reversed along the zipper
track by an obtuse angle (90°-180°. Since the zipper
closure has an obtuse reverse bend, the opening of the sealed bag
requires a degree of dexterity beyond that of an animal attempting to
tear the bag open.
1. A plastic trash bag, comprising: a plastic bag with an opening;
wherein the opening is closable by a zipper; wherein the zipper comprises
a single zipper track and a slider that can be pulled along the zipper
track to open or close the zipper; wherein the zipper track consists of
two segments, which are a first segment and a second segment; wherein the
first segment and the second segment form an interior acute angle;
wherein, to open the zipper, the slider must initially be pulled along
the first segment of the zipper track in a first direction, and upon
reaching the second segment of zipper track, the slider must be pulled
along the second segment in a second direction; and wherein the angle
between the first direction and the second direction is obtuse, such that
the zipper track forms an obtuse reverse bend.
2. The plastic trash bag of claim 1, further comprising one or more handles on the top or sides of the trash bag, wherein the handles are grippable for lifting and carrying the trash bag.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to the field of bags and containers for the disposal of trash and/or debris, and more particularly to resealable plastic trash bags.
 The task of securing household refuse against raccoons, bears, skunks, squirrels and other animals poses seemingly unending problems. Even when trash is stored in a sealed container, hungry animals prove themselves adept at prying open lids and undoing fasteners. While zippered closures on trash bags could be considered animal-proof, bears have actually been known to open zippered bags with their claws.
 Although some animals are able to pull a zipper slider open with their claws or teeth, they lack the dexterity to negotiate a reverse bend in the zipper track. The present invention relies upon this inherent limitation of animals to provide zippered trash bags which is animal-proof by virtue of its reverse-bend zipper design.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is a plastic trash bag, which may be reusable or disposable, in which the closure mechanism of the bag is a zipper that requires a multi-direction opening/closing motion. The opening/closing direction of the zipper is reversed along the zipper track by an obtuse angle (90°-180°. Since the zipper closure has an obtuse reverse bend, the opening of the sealed bag requires a degree of dexterity beyond that of an animal attempting to tear the bag open.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the obtuse reverse-bend zipper design of the present invention requires that, in order to open the closure, the zipper slider initially must be pulled in a first direction, indicated by the lower arrow, and then the zipper slider must be pulled in a second direction, indicated by the second arrow, such that the angle between the first direction and the second direction is obtuse.
 The foregoing summarizes the general design features of the present invention. In the following sections, specific embodiments of the present invention will be described in some detail. These specific embodiments are intended to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing the present invention in accordance with the general design features discussed above. Therefore, the detailed descriptions of these embodiments are offered for illustrative and exemplary purposes only, and they are not intended to limit the scope either of the foregoing summary description or of the claims which follow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a trash bag in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and
 FIG. 2 is a detail view of the obtuse reverse-bend zipper closure of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Referring to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of the present invention 10 comprises a heavy-duty plastic trash bag, sized to fit in a standard residential garbage container. The trash bag 10 has an obtuse reverse-bend zipper 11, comprising a zipper track 12, along which moves a slider 13, which is gripped and pulled to open and close the zipper 11.
 The zipper 11 can be a plastic toothed zipper or a molded-plastic ridge-sealed closure of the type found on zip-loc bags. Preferably, the zipper is of one of the designs disclosed in the U.S. patents of Porchia et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,664,299 or Machacek et al. U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,450, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
 Optionally, the trash bag 10 can have one or more handles 14 on the top or side of the bag to facilitate lifting and carrying the bag.
 FIG. 2 illustrates the operation of the obtuse reverse-bend zipper 11. The zipper 11 is shown in its fully closed position. The zipper track 12 comprises a first segment 15 and a second segment 16. To open the zipper 11, the slider 13 is initially pulled in the first direction 17, which is parallel to the first segment 15, and then the slider 13 is pulled in the second direction 18, which is parallel to the second segment 16. The angle θ between the first direction 17 and the second direction 18 is an obtuse angle (90°-180°, so that the zipper track 12 forms an obtuse reverse bend 19.
 The negotiation of the obtuse reverse bend 19 in opening the zipper 11 requires the superior manual dexterity of a human, thereby preventing the bag 10 from being opened by an animal.
 Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many additions, modifications and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined by the accompanying claims.
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