The world has just got a lot less fun, as the makers of Bubble Wrap have a new style of inflatable packaging that doesn't pop when squeezed.
Sealed Air, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based manufacturer behind the stress-relieving material for more than half a century, are developing a new packaging called iBubble Wrap, which will be harder to burst.
The revamped product is inflatable and features chains of interlinked bubbles that allow air to flow through the plastic fabric, making it more difficult to achieve that satisfying pop.
The news has not gone down well on the Twitterverse, with many venting their anger at the announcement. Metro spoke to Ken Aurichio, executive director at Sealed Air, on the thinking behind the product.
Q: Why have you created iBubble Wrap?
– The tremendous growth in shipping, in particular in areas such as e-commerce, has paved the way for several new innovations, including packaging products that inflate onsite of our customers, products that reduce the cube size of a box and increase productivity, and products that provide brand enhancement.
For our customers that do a large amount of fulfillment, having a product that inflates when it is ready to be used also saves a great deal of storage space. However, because the bubbles in our iBubble Wrap are interconnected, it is very difficult to pop.
Q: And that news has upset many fans of the traditional Bubble Wrap.
– Bubble Wrap is an iconic brand known all over the world, in part, for the joy and relief people get from popping it. There is no need to be angry though, as the traditional Bubble Wrap will still be used in many applications and around for many, many years to come.
Q: So you agree that using Bubble Wrap as a stress-relief tool has its benefits still?
– Doctors and sociologists have done studies on popping Bubble Wrap and have confirmed that the sensation provides a tactile joy. In fact, we sell Bubble Wrap stress relief boxes specifically to meet that demand and delight of consumers.
Q: But will you drop the production of Bubble Wrap, in order to roll out its newer variety?
– We have been selling inflatable Bubble Wrap for many years and it will not completely replace traditional Bubble Wrap that people love to pop. There will still be a market for many years to come. As long as there is a demand to ship products safely and sustainably, there will be a growing market for both traditional and inflatable Bubble Wrap.
Q. What are your future plans for Bubble Wrap?
– We will continue to innovate a host of protective packaging products, in particular, for e-commerce. And we continue to improve the strength and protective qualities of traditional Bubble Wrap.