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Steven Maxim

Steven Maxim
15 August 2022

The Key Points in the History of Bubble Wrap

The industrial sector needs reliable and protective packaging solutions to fulfill its packaging needs. You can find several protective packaging materials in the market; bubble wrap is one of them. Bubble wrap has gained so much popularity in the industrial sector. It is an excellent protective packaging that protects the items from abrasion and shocks during storage and shipping. Bubble wrap is an extremely flexible material that provides impressive packaging solutions.

Countless industries are using bubble wrap to store and ship their products more effectively, but very few know the history of this protective packaging. Do you know bubble wrap was invented accidentally from a failed experiment? Yes, you’ve heard it right. This protective packaging solution has a very unique and interesting history.

Scroll down to reveal the different interesting facts about the The Key Points in the Interesting History of Bubble Wrap.


Invention for Interiors

Bubble wrap is a recyclable protective packaging solution that makes storage and shipping much easier for industries. Two brilliant engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes invented bubble wrap from a failed experiment in 1957. They both said they did not create bubble wrap for protective packaging or improve the storage and shipping of different products. They accidentally invented bubble wrap as textured wallpaper.

According to Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, they felt that the industry had very limited options for wallpapers, so they wanted to find some creative solutions to overcome this limitation. They performed different experiments to find an appealing alternative to traditional wallpapers. In an experiment, engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes sealed two shower curtains with air bubbles in between and tried to invent a texture in wallpaper.

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were talented and ambitious engineers. They also invented the machine to develop plastic wallpaper with paper backing. They believed that if we used paper backing in developing plastic wallpapers, it would increase the durability of wallpapers up to several times. They felt that paper backing would make it easier for individuals to stick the wallpaper onto the walls without hassle.

Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes tried their best to find a texture in wallpaper, but their experiment was unsuccessful. Their invented machine only created plastic sheets with air in between. They decided to sell their plastic wallpapers with paper backing in the market but did not get the attention and appreciation they were expecting. Few industries understood their efforts and the importance of plastic wallpaper.

Although the plastic wallpaper of Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes didn’t get massive appreciation, they both didn’t stop. They used different ways to market their plastic wallpaper. Their efforts helped them a lot to push their invention into the market.

How environmentally friendly is Bubble Wrap? It’s made from 30% recycled content, it’s 100% recyclable and can be reused many times to reduce waste to landfill.

Second Chance

When Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes failed to sell their creation as textured wallpaper, they decided to introduce greenhouse insulation. They tried different ways to market their invention as a material that can be effective for greenhouse insulation. They advertised their plastic wallpaper by saying they could create a perfect balance between temperature and humidity. Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes also positioned their plastic wallpaper as something that can increase energy efficiency in your houses and decrease your energy bills.

Although their creation has some insulating properties, it was not ideal for insulating the greenhouse perfectly. At that time, the market had many effective and cheap options for greenhouse insulation. That is why; it was more challenging for Fielding and Chavannes to get appreciation and users for their creation.

Even in the second chance, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes failed to sell their creation to the general public. Their second attempt had the same output as their first attempt, a failure!

Third Chance

After two consecutive failed attempts, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes decided to skip inventing and continue a new journey. But fortunately, all of their efforts in inventing and marketing plastic wallpaper were not wasted.

In 1960, three years of the invention of bubble wrap, the marketer for Sealed Air (the name of the company that used bubble wrap for packaging for the first time), Frederick Bowers, decided to use the rolls of bubble wrap for protective packaging.

Frederick Bowers believed that air in between bubble wrap could potentially keep the product secure and in place. He thought this effective and versatile packaging material could easily protect any product during storage and packaging.

In 1959, when International Business Machine (IBM) announced to launch of its invention of new computers, Frederick Bowers thought it was the ideal time to reveal the effectiveness of bubble wrap rolls for protective packaging. He researched more about bubble wrap and then shared his idea with International Business Machine. He told IBM how bubble wrap could effectively protect their computers during storage and shipping from one place to another.

IBM agreed to use bubble wrap rolls as a protective packaging material for their new computers and other fragile accessories. International Business Machine (IBM) was one of the largest multinational companies at the time. When IBM used bubble wrap as a packaging material, it made the path easier for Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes’ invention.

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Facts about the History of Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is considered an effective solution for protective packaging supplies. It is reliable material to protect your products from pressure and abrasion during storage and shipping. This reliable packaging solution also has a lot of interesting facts, some of which are:


Accidental Invention

Two engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, invented the bubble wrap accidentally from a failed experiment. They were trying to create textured wallpaper but got the outcome in plastic sheets with air in between. They tried different marketing efforts to make their creation visible to the general public, but they didn’t get any reasonable response.

After three years of their creation, a company named Sealed Air decided to use their plastic wallpaper as a protective packaging material and named their plastic wallpaper Bubble Wrap.


Profit of Sealed Air Company

Sealed Air Corporation was the first company that used bubble wrap for protective packaging. Until 1971, the company was turning a profit of $5 million. In 1971, Dermot Dunphy was appointed as CEO of the company, and he effectively used bubble wrap, which helped the firm grow sales to $3 billion.


New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame

The inventors of bubble wrap Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, received a coveted spot in the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for their impressive efforts in the invention and marketing of bubble wrap.


Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

The final Monday of January is famous for Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. The final Monday of January has a very interesting history. On this day, a company decided to deliver the consignment of microphones to a radio station in Indiana. The company wrapped all its microphones with bubble wrap. The broadcasters accidentally broadcasted the popping sound of bubble wrap while unwrapping the microphones. The sound triggered a wrap appreciation sensation, translated into Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.


Popping Bubble Wrap is Stress Relieving

Several studies show that crushing or popping bubble wrap gives you a sense of pleasure and relaxation. A survey conducted by Professor Kathleen Dillon in 1992 revealed that popping bubble wrap is a great way to relieve your stress and promote relaxation. The joyful, touching sensation of bubble wrap can give you a sense of pleasure and joy.


Bride Outfit

Have you ever heard about a bubble wrap wedding gown? In May 2010, Rachael Robinson wore a bubble wrap gown o her wedding day to have a sustainable bridle dress. According to reports, the gown featured a 3ft bubble wrap train, and it was made from carefully stitched bubble wrap sheets.


Prevention from Hypothermia

Another interesting fact about bubble wrap is that it can prevent hypothermia. In Norway, emergency medical technicians used bubble wrap sheets to prevent a patient from hypothermia. A study conducted in 2009 showed that bubble wrap is 69% effective in heart retention. You can solely rely on bubble wrap to get prevention from hypothermia.


Playboy Cover

In the 1997 Playboy Cover, actress Farrah Fawcett posed only wearing bubble wrap and highlighted the glamour of bubble wrap.


Bubble Wrap in Competitions

The durability and effectiveness of bubble wrap were tested in a pumpkin-dropping competition organized in Iowa. A pumpkin weighing about 369.7 kb (815 pounds) was wrapped in bubble wrap and dropped from the height of 35 feet. Everyone was shocked to see that pumpkin experienced no damage even after being from a height of 35 feet.

Later in 2007, Sealed Air Corp organized a Bubble Wrap Contest for Young Investors, where grade school students were encouraged to come up with different and unique ideas for using bubble wrap. In this competition, grade school students showed a wide variety of creative and innovative ideas for using bubble wrap in different projects.


Inventions around Bubble Wrap

When business owners noticed the huge popularity of bubble wrap, they decided to make different innovations around it.
Some of the innovations based on bubble wrap are the following;

1. In 2015, Sealed Air Corporation launched a flat bubble wrap named iBubble Wrap. In iBubble Wrap, flat sheets of bubbles were incorporated while allowing the customers to inflate them whenever required.
2. Several mobile applications were also designed to give the joy and relaxation of crushing bubble wrap.
3. After admitting the huge interest of people in crushing bubble wrap, several popping toys started to make their products with infinite bubble sheets.
4. Some companies also invented virtual bubble wrap to give people the same experience and sound as traditional bubble wrap.


Production of Bubble Wrap

You might be surprised to know the quantity in which bubble wrap is produced every year. We must say that the production of bubble wrap is truly one of the most impressive facts about bubble wrap. The amount of bubble wrap produced in 52 countries annually can stretch from Earth to the Moon. It means the total length of the bubble wrap produced per year in 52 countries would wrap the Earth’s equator more than ten times.


Awards and Recognition

Bubble wrap has an impressive collection of awards, some of which are;

1. An Artist, Bradley Hart, made colorful portraits and landscapes using bubble wrap sheets of different sizes.
2. In 2015, Colorado boy Scouts made a Guinness World Record for crushing more than 2681 bubble wraps together.
3. In 2016, Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, nominated the bubble wrap to be included in the National Toy of Fame.
4. In 2004, a 12 x 12 square piece of bubble wrap was displayed in the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art.


Golden Bubble Wrap by Sealed Air Corporation

In 2010, Sealed Air Corporation launched a special Gold Bubble Wrap in honour of the 50th anniversary of bubble wrap.


Bubble Wrap Book

In 1998, a book named Bubble Wrap Book was introduced in the market, which included a complete detail about the uses of bubble wrap. One of the great uses of bubble wrap mentioned in the book was you could stuff your wallet with bubble wrap to impress your girlfriend on dates.


The First Non-Adult to Pop Bubble Wrap

Howard Fielding, the son of Alfred Fielding (one of the inventors of bubble wrap), was the first non-adult who crushed the bubble wrap. Fielding said I was probably the first kid to crush the bubble wrap for joy and pleasure. He also said that the size of bubble wrap was so large, so when I squeezed them, they created a loud noise.

Bubble Wrap Today

The popularity of bubble wrap grew when IBM used it as a packaging material. After some time, countless other companies started using bubble wrap as a protective packaging material.

Today, bubble wrap is a reliable way of stress relieving and an effective solution for protective packaging. Now bubble wrap comes in a wide variety of designs, styles, and shapes. You can find several types of bubble wrap in the market, including small bubble wrap rolls, large bubble wrap rolls, industrial bubble wrap rolls, and many more.

Advantages of Bubble Wrap

The following advantages of bubble wrap will help you understand why you should choose this material for your product packaging.
1. It is a reusable protective packaging solution making it ideal for companies that offer easy customer returns.
2. Bubble wrap is a lightweight void fill protective packaging material.
3. Unlike traditional packaging solutions, bubble wrap is a convenient and cost-effective way to store and ship your items with great security.
4. Bubble wrap can offer 100% protection to your items against high pressure and any other impact.
6. You don’t need additional equipment and tools for using bubble wrap. They offer time-saving and easy-to-handle packaging solutions.

Different Types of Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is the most convenient and popular material for protective packaging. Aside from its effectiveness, sustainability, and durability, bubble wrap comes in different shapes, sizes, and designs. You can choose your favorite bubble wrap design according to your packaging needs and requirements. Below we have given some types of bubble wrap you can choose for packaging.


Self-Adhesive Bubble Wrap

The self-adhesive bubble wrap is an ideal and economical alternative to other protective packaging supplies. The adhesive feature of this bubble wrap makes it ideal for sensitive surfaces such as furniture, televisions, flat screens, and glass. Unlike other packaging materials with adhesive properties, the adhesive bubble wrap is easy to apply and remove.


Large Bubble Wrap

Large bubble wrap rolls protect your items during storage and shipping. It is an effective and economical way to protect your items from high pressure and abrasion. These big bubble wrap rolls are made from superb-quality plastic, making them biodegradable and reusable. Large bubble wrap comes in different sizes and shapes; you can choose your favorite one according to your company’s packaging needs and requirements.


Easy Tear Bubble Wrap

This easy-tear bubble wrap provides extra protection and security to your products during storage and shipping. You can tear these wrap bubbles easily without using any knife or scissors. The easy-tear bubble wrap is made from recycled plastic material, reducing waste in landfills and increasing waste plastic use.


BioAir Degradable Bubble Wrap

BioAir degradable bubble wrap rolls are puncture and tear-resistant, providing great protection to your items from abrasion, high pressure, and humidity. The non-slippery material of this bubble wrap keeps your items in place during storage, transit, and shipping.


Small Bubble Wrap

Small bubble wrap is an ideal packaging material to protect your small and fragile items during storage and transit. The small bubble wrap is made from high-quality plastic material, making it more water-resistant, tear-resistant, and puncture-resistant.

Different Uses of Bubble Wrap

In the past, bubble wrap was only used as a protective packaging material. But now, bubble wrap sheets have various applications in different areas, some of which are;


Insulate Windows and Walls

The little bubble wrap has some insulating properties, making them ideal for regulating temperature on cold winter days. You can benefit from this property of bubble wrap to cover any particular draughty spot in your house. This material is effective in lining windows, walls, and other close gaps in your house to cut off the energy bills.


Comfortable Camping

During camping, you can lay some bubble wrap sheets on the ground to get the comfort of the blow-up bed. Bubble wrap can provide insulation from the cold floor, ensuring the proper comfort you need for sleeping.


Steer Wheel Cover

If you’re an anxious driver or scared from road rage, you can tape some pieces of bubble wrap around the wheel to de-stress yourself when driving.


Countdown Calendar

You can create a versatile countdown calendar with bubble wrap to remember your special events or meetings. You need to cut out a piece of bubble wrap with your preferred amount of bubbles, mount it on cardboard, and put it on the wall. You can crush a bubble daily to begin the countdown for your special event and meetings.


Art Pieces

You can use bubble wrap rolls and sheets to create some funky art pieces. Cut out some pieces of bubble wrap in different shapes, paint them with your favorite colors, and press them against some card or paper to have personalized wall arts.


Protect your Plants

If your geography area suffers heavy rain and threats of frost, you can use bubble wrap to protect your plants on cold winter nights. The insulation feature of bubble wrap will maintain the temperature and protect your plants from harsh weather conditions.


Protect your Groceries

You can place a line of bubble wrap in your drawers and fridge for storing your delicate food items. It is an effective way to provide extra cushioning to your food that can break or bruise easily.


Create a Knee Pad

You can use bubble wrap sheets to create a knee pad for working in the garden. It will help protect your knees from dust and insects and keep your plants clean.

Need Bubble Wrap for Protective Packaging UK

Bubble wrap rolls and sheets have become the go-to option for businesses that store, deliver, and ship products daily. It seems that bubble wrap will hold its importance in the shipping industry in the coming years.

If you want reliable and super-quality bubble wrap to fulfil your protective packaging needs, you can contact us at Maxpack. We at Maxpack offer a wide variety of bubble wrap rolls and sheets at competitive rates. You can visit our profile to get more clarification about our bubble wrap rolls and sheets. Within our region we offer delivery next day on all orders for bubble wrap placed before 3pm.

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