The Bubble Wrap manufacturer wants to destroy fun

That sweet moment of release – your thumb and forefinger squeezing the bulbous lump until it explodes in a split-second ejaculation of air and sound. Well, no more, my friend. Not with unpoppable bubble wrap. Nope. You can squeeze these fat pockets all you want; you’ll never reach satisfaction.

The Bubble Wrap manufacturer wants to destroy fun

Bubble Wrap is more than a packaging material. It’s what fun is made of. And Sealed Air Corp, the manufacturer of Bubble Wrap, is taking fun out back and putting two loads right between its eyes.

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The company is introducing a new version of its famous packaging material, one that has the bubbles arranged in rows instead of individual pockets. Rather than popping them, squeezing now passes the air along the interconnected bubbles.

Why would the parent of Bubble Wrap want to do such a monstrous thing to its own creation? To save costs, of course. Because retailers such as Amazon will need to self-inflate the wrap with a £3,500 pump, the new iteration takes up only 1/50th of the shipping space of the old version.

Oh, yeah, and it’s called iBubble Wrap.

iBubble Wrap.

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To be fair to Sealed Air Corp, the poppable version of the material doesn’t exactly make the most efficient use of space. Enormous rolls might have been all right in an age when computers were the size of London flats, but now that shipping and personal electronics have evolved packaging needs to adapt, too.

Sealed Air Corp says it will continue to sell traditional Bubble Wrap, but is there any room in this high-demand, ultra-fast shipping world for poppable packaging?

The material started life in 1957 as a wallpaper. Even though this application turned out to be a massive flop, perhaps nostalgia will fuel a Bubble Wrap renaissance. Whole homes could be fitted with the stuff. We could pave our streets with it. It could line the soles of our shoes. It’ll be a Bubble Wrap utopia. Who’s with me?

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