Patent application title: Paper Jar Packaging With Coated Walls
Ellery West (Crescent City, CA, US)
Ellery West (Crescent City, CA, US)
Gail West (Crescent City, CA, US)
Gail West (Crescent City, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D4100FI
Class name: Bottles and jars closures cap type
Publication date: 2011-08-25
Patent application number: 20110204015
A biodegradable jar has an enclosure wall with a cap that forms ajar that
holds a semi-solid material. In order to prevent the biodegradable wail
from being weakened by the semi-solid material in the jar, both an
exterior surface and an interior surface of the wall and the cap include
a permeation barrier material that substantially prevents the semi-solid
material from seeping through the walls of the jar. The enclosure wall
could have an inner wall that is shorter than the outer wall which forms
a ledge that a separate cover for the semi-solid material could rest
1. A biodegradable jar for housing a semi-solid material, comprising: a
rigid, fibrous outer wall having an open top, and at least partially
defining a lumen for housing a semi-solid material; a closed, fibrous
bottom; a fibrous cap shaped to receive the open top; wherein at least
portions of each of the outer wall and the cap include a biodegradable
permeation barrier material; and wherein each of the outer wall and cap
comprises first and second fibrous layers.
2. The jar of claim 1, further comprising a movement restrictor coupled to the outer wall.
3. The jar of claim 2, wherein the movement restrictor comprises a folded edge of the outer wall.
4. The jar of claim 1, further comprising an upper bottom disposed between the closed bottom and the open top.
5. The jar of claim 1, wherein each of the outer wall and the cap are biodegradable.
6. The jar of claim 1, further comprising a fibrous inner wall disposed within the lumen of the outer wall, which at least partially defines an interior cavity for housing the semi-solid material.
7. The jar of claim 6, at least portions of an exterior surface and an interior surface of the inner wall include the biodegradable permeation barrier material.
8. The jar of claim 6, further comprising a spacer disposed between the outer wall and the inner wall.
9. The jar of claim 6, further comprising an adhesive that couples the outer wall to the inner wall.
10. The jar of claim 9, wherein the adhesive comprises the biodegradable permeation barrier material.
11. The jar of claim 1, wherein the biodegradable permeation barrier material is substantially impermeable to at least one of oil and water,
12. The jar of claim 1, wherein the biodegradable permeation barrier material is disposed on an interior surface of each of the outer wall and cap.
13. The jar of claim 6, further comprising a cover sized and dimensioned to enter the lumen of the outer wall and cover the cavity.
14. The jar of claim 13, wherein the cover includes the biodegradable permeation barrier material.
15. The jar of claim 1, wherein the outer wall has a greatest height of no more than 20 cm, and wherein the open top has an internal diameter that is 0.3 to 2.5 times the greatest height.
16. The jar of claim 1, wherein the biodegradable permeation barrier material is impregnated within the layers.
17. The jar of claim 1, wherein the biodegradable permeation barrier material is disposed between the first and second layers.
18. The jar of claim 1, wherein the outer wall further comprises a third fibrous layer.
19. The jar of claim 1, wherein the biodegradable permeation barrier material comprises a third layer of the cap.
 This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. utility
application having Ser. No. 12/505,211 filed on Jul. 17, 2009, which
itself is a continuation-in-part of U.S. utility application having Ser.
No. 12/434,400 filed on May 1, 2009. These and all other extrinsic
materials discussed herein are incorporated by reference in their
entirety. Where a definition or use of a term in an incorporated
reference is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term
provided herein, the definition of that term provided herein applies and
the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The field of the invention is containers for semi-solid materials.
 Modern nations currently produce significant amounts of waste. Much of the waste comes from plastic and/or metal, which decomposes at a very slow rate. These materials must be recycled, dumped into the oceans or waterways, or deposited into landfills where they will remain for centuries.
 In order to reduce the waste in our ever-filling landfills, it is advantageous to create containers that are biodegradable and/or compostable. U.S. Pat. No. 2,074,899 to Gazette teaches a container that is made entirely of paper. However, Gazette's paper container is neither air tight nor water tight, so that liquids or semi-solids stored in the container can spill or evaporate. In addition, even barring spilling or evaporation, Gazette's paper container can't hold liquids or semi-solid materials for an extended period of time since those materials would eventually saturate the paper container and leak out or dissolve parts of the container.
 European Pat. no. 1035025 to Lowry teaches a container having a body that is made substantially out of paper, but uses a thermoplastic cap to maintain a tight seal. Plastic caps, however, are not biodegradable and would still contribute to our landfill problems. Also, Lowry's container is similar to Gazette's container in that liquids or semi-solid materials would tend to saturate the container, and eventually leak out.
 U.S. Pat. Appl. no. 2007/0110928 to Bried (publ. May 2007) teaches a container with a wax coating on the inside of the container. Wax coatings can be disadvantageous as they tend to dissolve in the presence of oil based contents.
 Thus, there is still a need for a sealed biodegradable container that holds liquids or semi-solid contents over a period of time.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The inventive subject matter provides apparatus, systems and methods in which ajar has a fibrous outer wall (preferably a molded outer wall) at least partially defining a lumen, and optionally includes a fibrous inner wall disposed within the lumen of the outer wall. At least portions of the outer wall and optional inner wall can include a permeation barrier material
 As used herein the term "jar" means an object used as a container for solids, liquids and/or semi-solids, and that has a mouth which is at least 50% of the height of the jar. Semi-solids materials are both solid and liquid at room temperature. While semi-solids could be made of a single chemical composition where freezing point and the melting point are between 10 degrees Fahrenheit of room temperature, the semi-solid material is preferably a mix of solids and liquids.
 As used herein "fibrous material" means materials characterized by a plurality of discrete fibers. The filaments can be plant or animal derived, synthetic, or some combination of these. In "plant-derived fibrous materials" the filaments are at least predominantly of plant origin, examples of which include wood, papyrus, rice, ficus, mulberry, fibers, cotton, yucca, sisal, bowstring hemp and New Zealand flax. Further, as used herein the term "fibrous wall" means a wall comprising a fibrous material as a significant structural constituent. The fibrous walls contemplated herein preferably have at least 2, 5, 10, 20 or even 30 dry weight percent of fibers. Preferably, the fibrous walls have at least 80 or 90 dry weight percent of fibers. Paper is generally a fibrous material that is usually made by pressing and de-watering moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood rags, or grasses. Preferably, the fibrous material is rigid and is largely inflexible, as, for example, layered paper or corrugated cardboard. The structure of a fibrous material that is substantially rigid will tend to bend or break if a great deal of pressure is placed upon it, in contrast to a flexible material that will tend to flex and return back to its original shape after the pressure is released. Preferably, the walls, bottom, and cap are all rigid.
 Unless the context dictates the contrary, ail ranges set forth herein should be interpreted as being inclusive of their endpoints and open-ended ranges should be interpreted to include only commercially practical values. Similarly, all lists of values should be considered as inclusive of intermediate values unless the context indicates the contrary.
 As used herein, a statement that a permeation barrier is "substantially impermeable" to oil and/or water means that a wall treated with that additive has a transfer rate of less than or equal to 50 μl of water and/or sunflower oil per cm2 per six-month period of time at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure (STP). Preferably, the permeation barrier material is substantially impermeable to both water and oil. It is contemplated that the permeation barrier material could be applied to parts of the jar prior to assembly, or even after assembly. In preferred embodiments, the outer wall comprises a rolled paper material upon which the permeation barrier material has been coated. It is also contemplated that the permeation barrier material can be: (1) on an exterior surface or interior surface of the outer wall; (2) impregnated within the material forming the outer wall; or (3) disposed between the layers of the outer wall.
 It is contemplated that permeation barriers could be applied to parts of the vessel prior to assembly, or even after assembly. In some contemplated embodiments, the walls comprise a rolled paper upon which an adhesive has been coated and/or impregnated between each layer of the roiled paper. Thus, for example, the walls could include six to eight layers (wraps) of the paper/permeation barrier combination.
 In a preferred embodiment, the permeation barrier comprises an adhesive, which term is used herein to mean any compound in a liquid or semi-liquid state used to adhere or bond items together. Prior to use, adhesives can be pastes (very thick) or glues (relatively fluid). All commercially suitable adhesives are contemplated, including for example library paste or simply glue made from water, milk powder, vinegar, and baking soda (e.g., a biodegradable adhesive). Other suitable permeation barrier materials include those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,344,784 to Hodson or U.S. Pat. Appl. no. 2005/0130261 to Wils (publ. June 2005).
 The outer wall can be made of any suitable fibrous material, preferably biodegradable and preferably comprises paper, cardboard, fiberboard, slurries, or other fibrous materials). Wrapped materials seem to have the best strength and cost characteristics. The outer wall can advantageously define a lumen in which an inner wall can optionally be disposed.
 As used herein, a "biodegradable material" means a material that will break down to at least 90% H2O, CO2, and biomass within a period of six months from the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae etc. under favorable conditions. For example, milk, baking soda, meat, plants, wood, cotton, polylactic acid polymers, and paper are all deemed herein to be biodegradable. In preferred embodiments, every element of the jar, which could include an inner wall, a cap, a cover, spacers, the bottoms, adhesives, and permeation barrier materials, are biodegradeable.
 In preferred embodiments, the outer wall forms a cylindrical horizontal cross-section, but could also be shaped to have polygonal, oval or other commercially suitable cross-sections. The outer wall could even form a cone, or be frustoconical, although from a manufacturing and distribution standpoint the horizontal cross-sections are preferably substantially the same from top to bottom. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer wall, comprises a hollow cardboard tube. The outer wall could be any thickness, but is preferably between 1 mm to 10 mm thick.
 The outer wall preferably has an open top and a closed bottom to form the jar. As used herein, the term "wall having an open top" means that the wall defines an opening that is ordinarily open during typical usage. Similarly, as used herein, the term "closed bottom" means that the wall defines a bottom that is ordinarily closed during typical usage. Under these definitions, an ordinary shampoo bottle is a vessel having a wall with an open top because the cap is either removed or disposed, in an open position during typical usage. Also under these definitions, a Campbell's soup can with a pull, tab top has a wall with an open top because the top is removed during typical usage. The bottom of such a soup can, however, is closed because the bottom is not removed during typical usage.
 The outer wall and closed bottom could be molded, or made from a single piece of material, but preferably the closed bottom is a separate piece that fits within the lumen of the outer wall and sits on a movement, restrictor formed by folding over a lower edge of the outer wall, or created by the mold. The closed bottom could alternatively be flush with the bottom edge of the outer wall, but is more likely recessed from the bottom edge of the outer wall by at least 5, 10, 20, or 40 mm. In this instance, a commercially reasonable upper limit is thought to be about 30% of the height of the outer wall. Preferably, the closed bottom is located within 20, 10, 5, 3, or 2 mm from the bottom edge of the outer wall.
 The movement restrictor can be coupled to the bottom of the outer wall in a variety of ways, including for example by gluing, using "teeth" or other detents, or by merely folding one or more edges of the outer wall inward to form a folded edge (i.e., "ledge") upon which the closed bottom can rest. As used herein, a "movement restrictor" is a device that limits a travel of an object in at least one direction.
 In another embodiment, the closed bottom could be a separate cap that is sized and dimensioned to fit over the bottom end of the outer wall to create a bottom of the vessel, and could be held in position by a tight fitting, but is preferably mechanically attached (for example by using screw threads and pins) or attached using an adhesive. A separate cap could also be sized and dimensioned to fit within the bottom end of the outer wall's lumen, and could be mechanically attached or attached using an adhesive to create a flushed or a recessed bottom. In such a scenario, the separate cap preferably serves as a support for a false (or upper) interior bottom.
 The jar can include an inner wall that can also be made of any suitable fibrous material, preferably biodegradable and preferably comprises paper, cardboard, fiberboard, or other fibrous material(s). Typically, one would use the same material as used for the outer wall, although different fibrous materials could be used. The inner wail is very likely shaped similarly to the outer wall, but with a smaller height and width, so as to be disposed snugly within the lumen defined by the outer wall. Alternatively, the inner wall could be much smaller than the lumen, or have a different shape of horizontal cross-section (e.g. round versus hexagonal), and could be kept in place with spacers. While the inner wall is preferably a separate piece that is attached, glued, or otherwise affixed to the interior surface of the outer wall, the inner wall could merely be an extension of the outer wall, for example a carved ledge within a single block of wood.
 The interior cavity that houses the semi-solid or liquid product material is generally defined by (a) the inner surface of the inner or outer wall and (b) either the closed bottom of the outer wall or a false bottom that is located between the closed bottom and the open top. The height of the false bottom can most readily be set by a spacer that is placed in between the false bottom and the closed bottom. A taller spacer can be used to shrink the volume of the interior cavity, or to provide a hidden pocket in the bottom of the vessel.
 In embodiments including an inner wall, a cover can be used to enclose or partially enclose an upper surface of the interior cavity, and the product material being stored within the cavity. Ideally, the cover is sized and dimensioned to rest upon a top edge of the inner wall, and to extend about to the inner surfaces of the outer wall. Such a design can advantageously provide a substantially air and moisture-tight seal, preventing much of the product material from evaporating. A small handle could also be coupled to the cover to allow a user to easily remove and replace the cover at any time.
 The bottom of the interior cavity, the underside of the cover, and the top edge of the inner wall all preferably include the permeation barrier material in one way or another to prevent the product material from seeping through.
 As used herein the term "jar" means a vessel that is (1) no more than 20 cm tall; (2) has a closed bottom end; and (3) a mouth that is at least 3 cm wide (i.e., internal diameter) and/or is 0.3 to 2.5 times the greatest height of the vessel. Jars are usually cylindrical, but can also have horizontal cross-sections that are polygonal, oval, etc.
 Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the inventive subject matter will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, along with the accompanying drawing figures in which like numerals represent like components.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
 FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a double walled biodegradable jar according to one embodiment.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the jar of FIG. 1 assembled into a single jar.
 FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of the jar of FIG. 2.
 FIG. 4 shows the jar of FIG. 2 with an optional cover and a cap.
 FIG. 5 shows the top view of the jar of FIG. 4, with the cover installed.
 FIG. 6 shows a single-walled jar in accordance with another embodiment.
 FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a double walled biodegradable jar according to another embodiment.
 FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the jar of FIG. 7 assembled into a single jar.
 FIG. 9 is an exploded view of a double walled biodegradable jar according to yet another embodiment.
 FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the jar of FIG. 9 assembled into a single jar.
 FIGS. 11-12 are perspective views of various embodiments of a biodegradable jar.
 FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of an inventive jar 100 comprising an inner wall 110, a first disc 120, a spacer 130, a second disc 140, and outer wall 150. The outer wall 150 receives each of the second disc 140, the spacer 130, the first disc 120, and the inner wall 110 in lumen 158, respectively.
 Outer wall 150 is a cylindrical hollow tube with inner diameter 152 approximately 7.1 cm, outer diameter 154 approximately 7.2 cm, and interior surface 156. Outer wall 150 is composed essentially of a structural material (preferably rolled 20-40 pound paper) and a permeation barrier material, and could readily be constructed with a standard cardboard tube machine. Other structural materials could additionally or alternatively be used, including for example other types of biodegradable, fibrous material. The structural material could also be molded as opposed to being roiled. An adhesive is the currently most preferred permeation barrier material, but all other suitable materials are contemplated, as for example an oil- or water-based varnish.
 The permeation barrier material could be utilized in any suitable manner. For example, the inner sides of the outer wall, could be sprayed or otherwise coated with, the permeation barrier material, or it can be impregnated into the structural material. Additionally or alternatively, the permeation barrier material (especially as an adhesive) could be applied to the sides of a paper before or as the paper is being rolled.
 Since the top edge 153 of outer wall 150 would likely encounter some of the product material during use, it is contemplated that the top edge 153 could have some permeation barrier material. As with the rest of the outer wall 150, the permeation barrier material could be impregnated into the structural material of the wall 150, or added as a coating.
 Outer wail 150 has an inner diameter 152 that at least partially defines lumen 158. In FIG. 1, the inner diameter measures approximately 71 mm. The outer wall 150 has a thickness of about 1 mm, so that the outer diameter 154 of the outer wall 150 is approximately 74 mm. In other contemplated embodiments the inner and outer diameter thickness could be larger or smaller, and could have other suitable dimensions. Preferably, the outer wall 150 has a thickness of about at least 1 mm to provide adequate strength and durability.
 As defined herein, an outer wall that "at least partially define a lumen" means that the inner lumen 158 could be wholly defined by the inner diameter of the outer wall 150, or could be defined by the inner diameter of the outer wall 150 and another wall, for example the inner wall 110 or an extension attached to the outer wall 150. In FIG. 1, the lumen 158 is defined by both the inner diameter 152 of the outer wall 150 and the inner diameter 114 of the inner wall 110. As defined, herein, a "lumen" is a hollow cavity in the vessel. At least one portion of an interior wall 156 of the lumen 158 faces another part of the interior wall 156 of the lumen 158 without any intervening material in between the interior walls.
 Second disc 140 is preferably a disc that fits snugly within lumen 158 and rests upon a movement restrictor 151 (see FIG. 3) that prevents second disc 140 from sliding out the bottom of outer wall 150. While second disc 140 is preferably a chipboard disc, although other biodegradable or fibrous materials could be used. Preferably, second disc 140 is a circle with, a diameter substantially equal to inner diameter 152. As defined herein, a "substantially equal" length or diameter is one that is within a 1 mm tolerance. This prevents second disc 140 from sliding around and helps to provide a tight seal in case semi-solid material 210 (see FIG. 2) leaks through the first disc 110 and onto the second disc 140. The second disc 140 could also be covered or impregnated with, or could otherwise include a permeation barrier material if desired. For marketing purposes, a bottom surface of second disc 140 can be colored, corrugated, or have some other aesthetic design.
 Spacer 130 is a short cardboard tube that separates the first disc 120 from the second disc 140. Like second disc 140, first disc 120 is also preferably a chipboard disc, although other biodegradable or fibrous materials could be used. While spacer 130 is shown as a tube that fits snugly with the lumen 158, spacer 130 could be any suitable size and shape that helps restrict movement between first disc 120 and second disc 140. By placing a spacer 130 in between first disc 120 and second disc 140, the false bottom allows jar 100 to appear as though it has more semi-solid material than it really does. This could be advantageous from a marketing standpoint, in at least three ways: (1) to compete with plastic walled jars that often contain dead space to make the product appear larger than it really is; (2) to provide a larger label; and (3) to provide a chamber for free prizes or coupons.
 Both spacer 130 and first disc 120 could include permeation barrier material. First disc 120 should have at least its top surface and edges impregnated or otherwise covered with the permeation barrier material, since first disc 120 acts as the bottom to the interior cavity where the semi-solid material is held. The rim of first disc 120 can also be glued to the interior surface 156 to prevent any semi-solid material from leaking through spaces or cracks between them.
 Inner wall 110 is also a cylindrical hollow tube with inner diameter 114, outer diameter 112, inner surface 118, and top edge 116. Inner wall 110, first disc 120 and cover 410 (see FIG. 4) define the interior cavity where the semi-solid or other product material is held. Preferably the inner wall 110 is coupled to the outer wall 150 using an adhesive, for example a sticky permeation barrier material.
 The outer diameter 112 of inner wall 110 is configured to be juxtapose the inner diameter 152 of outer wall 150. While inner wall 110 is shaped to match the shape of outer wall 150, in alternative configurations (not shown) the inner wall 110 could have any other suitable shape. Preferably, the difference between inner diameter 114 and outer diameter 112 (i.e., the thickness of inner wall 110) is at least 1 mm, but could also be at least 2 mm to allow for a larger "shelf" for a cover 410 (see FIG. 4) to rest upon.
 In a manner similar to outer wall 150, inner wall 110 includes a permeation barrier, as a coating, impregnated material, or in some other manner. Preferably, permeation barrier material is also included on top edge 116 to prevent die wall material from saturating if a user scrapes semi-solid material over the top edge 116 of inner wall 110.
 Some sort of glue preferably holds inner wall 110 against outer wall 150, although other suitable coupling means could be used to join the walls together, including affixing inner wail 110 to first disc 120, or using a clamp. A spacer (not shown) could also be placed between inner wall 110 and outer wall 150 to provide a false side in much the same way spacer 130 provides a false bottom.
 FIG. 2 shows an assembled jar 200. From above, only outer wall 150 and inner wall 110 are visible, since the semi-solid or other product material 210 obscures a users view.
 Contemplated semi-solid product materials include facial cream, lotion, ice cream, yogurt, marzipan, lip balm, soft chocolate, soft cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, lemon grass, putty, caulk, wood filler, mosquito repellant, fire starters, boat leak, paste, rosin, polish, or margarine spread. Typically, semi-solid or other product material 210 is either water or oil based, and could sometimes be both. As used herein, "oil" means any hydrophobic material that is liquid at room temperature. This includes, for example, petroleum, vegetable oil, butter, peanut butter, grease, and liquid animal fat. Liquids or solids could, also be used in jar 200 as a product material, for example water, candy, cigarettes, spices, powdered drinks, protein powder, pins, tacks, screws, nails, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals.
 A cross-sectional view of the assembled, jar 200 is shown in FIG. 3, where the inner wall 110, first disc 120, spacer 130, second disc 140, and movement restrictor 151 can be seen. In the current embodiment, movement restrictor 151 prevents second disc 140 from failing out the bottom of assembled jar 200. Movement restrictor 151 could be, for example, a glue or a projection from the outer wall 150. In the current embodiment, movement restrictor 151 is a rolled bottom edge of the outer wail 150 that projects inward towards the center of the tube.
 FIG. 4 shows the assembled jar 200 with a cover 410 and a cap 420. Cover 410 is similar to first disc 120, but is much thicker and either has a hole 412 in the center or a tab 413 to be used in pulling up the cover 410. Hole 412 and tab 413 are shown as exemplary handles that could be used to remove cover 410 from the vessel, but other suitable handles are contemplated. Other removal means are also contemplated, including for example a threaded cap, a loop, or some other projection or recess. Cover 410 is shaped and dimensioned to have a diameter smaller than the inner diameter 152 of outer wall 150 but larger than the inner diameter 112 of inner wall 110. This allows cover 410 to rest upon top edge 116 of inner wall 110 and protect the semi-solid material 210 from evaporating or sublimating. While cover 410 is preferably circular, the cover 410 could be shaped in any suitable manner. Preferably, the cover 410 is sized and dimensioned to be just slightly larger than the lumen of the interior cavity of the inner wall so as to sit comfortably on top of the inner wall.
 Since cover 410 directly abuts the top layer of semi-solid material 210, very little of the semi-solid or other product material is exposed to open air. This creates a substantially air-tight seal around semi-solid material 210 so that the semi-solid material 210 does not leak out of the jar or otherwise evaporate. The shelf-life of a semi-solid material 210 could be increased tenfold, twentyfold, fiftyfold, or even a hundredfold using such a technique. In a preferred embodiment, the interior sides and the exterior sides of the cover 410, bottom, and walls are coated with the permeation barrier material to provide an even better seal. In another embodiment, all sides of each of the inner wall, outer wall, cover 410, cap, bottom, false bottom, and spacers are coated with the permeation barrier material.
 After a user uses the product material, the user could replace cover 410 to re-seal the remaining product, especially with gels, greases or lotions that need to remain moist after use. Such a seal would tend to be facilitated by product material that might tend to collect on the top of the inner wall 110. Alternatively, a user might choose to just throw away the cover 410.
 As shown in FIG. 5, the thickness of top edge 116 is wide enough to allow cover 410 to rest upon top edge 116 without falling into the inner wall. In a preferred embodiment, the permeation barrier material is employed in a sufficiently effective manner such that water evaporates from within the product material at a rate of less than 5% every six months, and even more preferably less than 3% every six months. In one embodiment, an underside of cover 410 has a thin plastic membrane that creates a vacuum seal when the cover 410 is placed over semi-solid material 210.
 Cap 420 is a paper cap that is sized and dimensioned to cover the top section of jar 200, although other biodegradable materials are contemplated. While cap 420 could be threaded or could have an indent that matches a detent in jar 200, cap 420 preferably just sits more or less snugly atop top of jar 200. Cap could also have permeation material included on one or both sides to help prevent the semi-solid material from evaporating.
 In FIG. 6, a single-walled jar 600 has a wall 620, a base 640, and a cap 610. Each of wall 620, base 640, and cap 610 are made of a biodegradeable fibrous material, preferably paper, and has an exterior side and an interior side that include permeation barrier material. Including permeation barrier material in both the exterior surface and the interior surface of the walls and caps provides additional protection against the semi-solid material 630 evaporating or otherwise escaping an interior cavity of jar 600. In this embodiment, the lumen of the single wall acts as an interior cavity to hold the semi-solid material 630. The single-walled jar could otherwise be prepared similarly to jar 100. For example, the single-walled jar 600 could have a cover (not shown) and a false bottom (not shown) formulated in a manner similar to jar 100. Preferably, the single walled jar 600 is substantially rigid.
 FIG. 7 illustrates a biodegradable jar 700 having an inner wall 710, a first disc 720, a spacer 730, a second disc 740, and outer wall 750. The outer wall 750 receives each of the second disc 740, the spacer 730, the first disc 720, and die inner wall 710 in lumen 758, respectively.
 Outer wall 750 is preferably a cylindrical hollow tube having a thickness 752 of between about 0.05-0.3 cm, and an interior surface 756. However, the outer wall 750 can have any commercially suitable horizontal cross-section including, for example, an oval, a square, a rectangle, and so forth. The outer wall 750 is preferably composed essentially of rolled paper or other fibrous material(s) to form first, second, third, fourth, and fifth layers 752A-752E, respectively. A permeation barrier material 770 can be disposed on an inner surface of each layer 752A-752E, although it is contemplated that material 770 could be disposed on an outer surface of one or more layers 752A-752E or impregnated within one or more layers 752A-752E. Other structural materials could additionally or alternatively be used, including for example other types of biodegradable, fibrous material. The structural material could also be molded as opposed to being roiled. An adhesive is the currently most preferred permeation barrier material, and preferably a biodegradable adhesive, but all other suitable materials are contemplated including, for example, an oil- or water-based varnish.
 Inner wall 710 is also a cylindrical hollow tube having a thickness 712, and comprising first, second, third, fourth, and fifth layers 754A-754E, respectively. A permeation barrier material 772 can be disposed on an inner surface of each layer 754A-754E, although it is contemplated that material 772 could be disposed on an outer surface of one or more layers 754A-754E or impregnated within one or more layers 754A-754E. With respect to the remaining numerals in FIG. 7, the same considerations for like components with like numerals of FIG. 1 apply.
 FIG. 8 shows an assembled jar 800. With respect to the remaining numerals in FIG. 8, the same considerations for like components with like numerals of FIG. 2 apply.
 In FIG. 9, a biodegradable jar 900 is shown having an outer wall 950 and a bottom 940, which collectively define a lumen 958. The outer wall 950 preferably has a cylindrical cross-section with a hollow interior, a thickness 952 of between 0.05-0.3 cm, and a permeation barrier material 970 disposed on an interior surface 956 of the outer wall 950. Alternatively or additionally, permeation barrier material 970 can be impregnated within outer wall 950.
 Outer wall 950 is preferably composed of a fibrous material, although other biodegradable material(s) are also contemplated. Rather than roiled paper or other structural construct, the outer wail 950 can be molded from pulp, fibrous slurry, and/or other material(s). The outer wall 950 could also be rolled as opposed to being molded. With respect to the remaining numerals in FIG. 9, the same considerations for like components with like numerals of FIG. 1 apply.
 FIG. 10 shows an assembled jar 1000. With respect to the remaining numerals in FIG. 10, the same considerations for like components with like numerals of FIG. 2 apply.
 In FIG. 11, a single-walled jar 1100 has a wall 1120, a base 1140, and a cap 1110. Each of wall 1120, base 1140, and cap 1110 are preferably made of biodegradable fibrous materials), and preferably paper, and has an exterior side and an interior side that include a permeation barrier material. Each of the wall 1120 and cap 1110 can comprise a molded fibrous material or at least three layers of a rolled fibrous material. As used herein, the term "layer" means a material covering at least 80% of a surface, and it is contemplated that each layer could include one or more plies. Thus, for example, a wall having at least layers means that 80% of the wall has at least three layers. With respect to the remaining numerals in FIG. 11, the same considerations for like components with like numerals of FIG. 6 apply.
 FIG. 12 illustrates ajar 1200 having a wall 1220, abase 1240, and a cap 1210. The cap 1210 is preferably composed essentially of rolled paper or other fibrous material(s) to form first, second, and third layers 1282A-1282C, respectively. A permeation barrier material 1270 can be disposed on an inner surface of each layer 1282A-1282C, although it is contemplated that material 1270 could be disposed on an outer surface of one or more layers 1282A-1282C or impregnated within one or more layers 1282A-1282C. Other structural materials could additionally or alternatively be used, including for example other types of biodegradable, fibrous material. The structural material could also be molded as opposed to being rolled. An adhesive is the currently most preferred permeation barrier material, and preferably a biodegradable adhesive, but all other suitable materials are contemplated including, for example, an oil- or water-based varnish.
 It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims. Moreover, in interpreting both the specification and the claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms "comprises" and "comprising" should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced. Where the specification claims refers to at least one of something selected from the group consisting of A, B, C . . . and N, the text should be interpreted as requiring only one element from the group, not A plus N, or B plus N, etc.
Patent applications by Ellery West, Crescent City, CA US
Patent applications by Gail West, Crescent City, CA US
Patent applications in class Cap type
Patent applications in all subclasses Cap type