Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. And what a weird, wacky and fun invention it is!
With cushioning provided by hundreds of regularly spaced, air-filled plastic bubbles, it not only provides a really clever and practical solution for keeping packaged products safe and secure, but I’m sure if a survey had to be done on the most addictive toys ever, bubble wrap should no doubt rank quite high on the list. I’ve never met anyone who, when left alone with a piece of bubble wrap for a few minutes, did not start popping away at the hundreds of individual little plastic-encased air bubbles. Which is weird, when you think about it, because you’re effectively rendering the bubble wrap useless, destroying the very thing that makes it useful. But it’s such fun that you cannot stop!
Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 when two inventors, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, set out to develop 3-dimensional plastic wall-paper (by sealing two shower curtains together, capturing various different shaped air bubbles between the sheets). The concept failed, but their design proved to be a perfect packaging solution. Pursuing this business opportunity, Fielding founded the Sealed Air Corporation and started marketing the Bubble Wrap® brand.
Acknowledging the compulsion of bubble wrap popping, the Sealed Air Corporation’s corporate offices is said to have ‘stress relief boxes’ – containers filled with Bubble Wrap® for employees to pop. Another cute initiative from Sealed Air is their Annual Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors, where kids are encouraged to come up with new inventions using Bubble Wrap® in novel ways outside of packaging. Some amazing inventions from these competitions have included a floating garden (floating on water with the aid of bubble wrap), a disposable, low cost cell phone holder, a wrist cushion for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, and “Petri Bubbles”, an inexpensive alternative to petri dishes in labs. (I told you kids make great inventors!)
An interesting fact (not verified) that I came across is that more than 250 Facebook pages are dedicated to Bubble Wrap® and its generic derivatives – more proof of the addictive appeal of this amazing product.
So go ahead, grab some bubble wrap and start popping – you know you want to!