It’s bubblicious

Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning is celebrating its 50th anniversary, a dubious celebration of this ubiquitous, useful and habit forming product.  C’mon now, have you ever tried to pop just one?  It’s as addictive as pistachios!   Believe it or not, January 25th marked the 10th Annual Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

Ever wonder how they make the stuff?

According to Fastpack Packaging Inc., Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning:

…starts as polyethylene (plastic) resin, in the form of beads about the size of pea gravel. The beads go into an extruder – a long cylinder with a screw inside that runs its entire length. As the screw is turned, heat builds up and the resin melts into a liquid that is squeezed out of the cylinder into two stacked sheets of clear plastic film. One layer of the film is wrapped around a drum with holes punched in it, and suction is applied drawing one web of film into the holes that form the bubbles. The second layer of film is then laminated over the first so that when the two films are joined, they stick together and trap the air in the bubbles.

What better way to celebrate than with a bubble wrap cake? This image is from the website of the Sealed Air Corporation, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of a wide range of packaging and performance-based materials and equipment systems, including Bubble Wrap®, that now serve an array of food, industrial, medical, and consumer applications.

According to Sealed Air (I love that name), the Bubble Wrap® brand

…has transcended its intended use of protecting valuables to become a “pop” culture phenomenon.  Bubble Wrap® cushioning is most recognized for the satisfying release and gleeful joy that comes with the popping of each plastic cell. In addition, Bubble Wrap® cushioning has been used as a medium for creating works of art, as a fashion statement and as a central prop piece to movies and commercials.

Artist Marshall Dines uses acrylic paints on bubble wrap to create portraits:

ThreadBanger gives us the bubble wrap dress: 

pop * pop * pop * pop * pop!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sugali
    Jan 27, 2010 @ 11:32:10

    I love bubble wrap and sometimes I use to pop them whenever I get a chance and anyone around thinks I am nuts. Nice to know that they have appreciation day for such a great product. Thanks Mad..


  2. Leanne Pizio
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 21:22:36

    I used to get in so much trouble as a kid when I would pop my mom’s bubble wrap. I couldn’t help myself. And when she would go into her closet and find all the bubbles popped except one or two she would know which kid to come to. I don’t know why I always saved her one or two bubbles….should have just had those last pops of joy!


  3. zmanowner
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 09:19:06

    We have these big bubble wrap rolls at work and its one of the my favorite things to do just sit their for a while and pop bubbles..didnt know about the 50th anniversary..zman sends


  4. MadSilence to&w
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 19:54:55

    Handy yes, we always save bubble wrap, it’s useful in a variety of ways. But how to recycle it? I have nightmares of the plastic wrap popping in the garbage dump for a thousand years…


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