When Apple files a new patent application, people take note.
After all, this is Apple we’re talking about: creator of the Macintosh, the iPad, the iMac, and a lot of other modern design classics.
But now, it has gone one step further: Apple has indeed patented a paper bag.
This past March, the company filed a patent application for what appears to be just a regular paper bag with handles.
The application defines the bag in question as “a retail paper bag, comprising: a bag container formed of white solid bleached sulfate paper with at least 60% post-consumer content.”
Where this bag apparently stands out from the millions of other paper bags in the world is its environmental credentials, with 60% recycled materials.
Recycled paper bags are not an innovation, of course. The innovation, in this case, is how Apple intends to hold the bag together with such a high proportion of recycled material. White paper bags made of recycled material tend to be fairly flimsy due to the amount of bleach used, so Apple has come up with a bundle of alterations that should help its bags remain both pearly white and environmentally friendly.
The alterations include fancy reinforcements at the folds and gussets of the bag, another one at the bottom that sticks to the sides, and a handle “formed entirely of paper fiber yarn knitted in an 8-stitch circular knit pattern”.
Its reinforcement inserts can augment the strength and resistance to tearing of the bag container material to make it structurally suitable for functioning as a bag, thereby increasing the amount of post-consumer content usable in an SBS paper bag.
“This can help to reduce any environmental impact from production, use, and disposal of the bag,” says the application.
Apple has reportedly been using the bag in selected stores for a few months now.
Let’s see how people will react to this newly patented innovation.