The Makers Of Bubble Wrap Are About To Ruin Our Lives

Admit it, you love bubble wrap. And not just because you might be a mid-level manager at your company’s shipping department. You love it because it’s fun. Who hasn’t grabbed a sheet of bubble wrap and gone to town popping those little plastic, air-filled bubbles? 

Even serial killers who can’t experience real emotions like happiness enjoy popping bubble wrap. Also killing people. But the point is — 

Kids love bubble wrap. Adults love bubble wrap. Even animals love bubble wrap!

But now our love’s in jeopardy. And not just because The Greg Kihn Band told us so. Sealed Air, the creator of Bubble Wrap, has decided to make Bubble Wrap unpoppable.

Yep. You read that right. The bubble wrap of the future will be unpoppable. Because apparently the world is determined to be a joyless hellscape filled with things that were once fun and now completely suck. Like the electoral college.

Bubble Wrap was invented in 1957 by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, who were attempting to create three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. Apparently people in 1957 weren’t ready for such a fun idea, and Al and Marc’s wallpaper plan flopped. But the two savvy inventors soon realized their sheets of regularly-spaced, air-filled bubbles could work as a new packing material. As a result, Fielding founded the Sealed Air company, and began mass-producing their Bubble Wrap.

The general public got their first look at Bubble Wrap when IBM used it to ship their new IBM 1401 computers in 1960. Sure, most people had never seen a computer before. But whatevs. Once people popped their first row of bubbles on that fun plastic, their love of Bubble Wrap was born.

For decades Bubble Wrap was Sealed Air’s number one money maker. But over the decades, its popularity as a packing material faded. So the big brains at Sealed Air came up with a new idea: “What if we made a new kind of Bubble Wrap that doesn’t pop and destroys fun?” 

The new Bubble Wrap, called iBubble Wrap because of course, is sold in flat plastic sheets that you fill with air using a custom-made pump. Once inflated, it looks like traditional bubble wrap — except now it doesn’t pop when you squeeze the bubbles.

In all fairness, Sealed Air had a reasonable reason for revamping Bubble Wrap. See, old bubble wrap was sold in big, pre-inflated rolls, which takes up a lot of space. But the new iBubble Wrap uses one-fiftieth as much space before it’s inflated. It also provides one-hundredth as much joy.

Without the pop, how will we enjoy bubble wrap shoes?

Or bubble wrap couture?

Or bubble wrap horses?


But there is a bright side to the Death of Bubble Wrap. Getting rid of all that plastic popping material is good for the planet. And that actually brings me more joy than popping bubble wrap. Sealed Air is also working on a new kind of packing foam made from mushroom roots that will grow around a package to cushion it. 

Fresh mushroom planted on saw dust cubes.

And we all know you can’t spell fungus without F-U-N.

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