Everything You Need to Know about Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is absolutely great for packaging. In fact,these quality packaging products are distributed freely here in Australia. Of course, once used a few times for packaging, everybody seems to get some satisfaction out of popping the bubbles before sending the plastic wrap back for recycling. One good thing about this type of plastic wrap is that it can be recycled. It is also produced out of recycled materials. 

A Short History of Bubble Wrap Packaging 

hand holding a roll of bubble wrap

Here are some interesting topics for anybody who is a fond of different packaging materials. Bubble wrap is the name given to a plastic and transparent packaging material that is used to protect fragile products. The air-filled hemispheres, called bubbles, provide gentle cushioning for the items to keep them from breaking during transport or handling. 

The popular term, bubble wrap, is considered a generic trademark that is actually owned by a company named the “Sealed Air Corporation.” It was invented way back in the late 1950s by two inventors named Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding. 

They were not trying to create bubble wrap at first, but 3D plastic wallpaper for decorating. The wallpaper idea did not work out well for the inventors. However, they did become great successes by producing the wrap as a packaging product. Consequently, Alfred Fielding founded the Sealed Air Corporation in 1960. 

The Bubble Wrap of Today 

Bubble wrap is very common for various packaging nowadays. These products are made by many different companies. The name, while still generically owned by Sealed Air Corp., is sort of like “Kleenex” that becomes a generic term for paper tissues in many English-speaking countries. It has become a generic name as well as a brand name. It is possible that some products which are marketed as bubble wrap are not actually produced by the original company. However, these companies probably use the same basic ideas to produce their own products.

Even though most people picture a transparent plastic sheet of bubbles, today’s wrap comes in different styles, forms and colours. In other words, some people use coloured bubble wrap to make the packaging attractive in the way that other wrap may both be functional and decorative.  

Fun bubble wrap in different pastel or primary colours can make packaging more attractive. Attractive packaging is important in many industries as part of their advertising and marketing strategy. Most of these industries may be in a competitive business where the products aren’t that much different. In that case, the packaging may give them a competitive advantage that the actual product does not. 

Bubble wrap also comes in a variety of strength and thickness. While small and delicate items might be wrapped in a few layers of thin bubble wrap, large and bulky items needed the thick one. You might expect to see fine china wrapped in several finer layers and a TV set wrapped with heavy and durable bubble wrap. 

The actual bubbles in this kind of wrapper could vary from just a few milometers to several milometers. The bubble wrap with larger hemispheres is usually thicker and more durable. It is specially made and designed for larger and heavier products. The thinner bubble wrap is more suitable for smaller packages or smaller items. In some cases, adding more layers of either type of product will determine how well protected the package actually is.  

This means that companies which pack items for distribution have to determine the best way to wrap their own products. That can be based upon the type of product, the size of the item and many other factors. While bubble wrap is typically light, it can still impact the weight and the cost of shipping too. 

Bubble wrap can be reused. It is common for consumers to keep the wrap they get when they purchase products. They may use it again when they send off presents or items to friends and family members. Of course, recycling in any way possible is a great idea and reusing is the simplest form. 

Beyond that, companies that rely upon having very durable bubble wrap might send used wrap off for formal recycling into more bubble wrap or even other plastic products. In return, they may purchase bubble wrap that has been made from recycled plastic. This helps the companies save money. It is also better for the environment to use recycled products. 

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day 

object wrapped in bubble wrap

While it might not be commonly known here in Australia, there is actually a Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. It began in the US, particularly in a certain local radio station in Bloomington, Indiana. The station received a large shipment of new microphones and the sound of the bubbles popping could be heard over the radio as the microphones got unwrapped and installed. Even though this is no formal holiday, but if anybody wants to show their appreciation for this wonderful and versatile packaging product, they can actually celebrate it on the last Monday of January.