Say it ain’t so! Sealed Air, the company behind the fantastic boredom buster that is Bubble Wrap, has just announced an update to its storied product: a Bubble Wrap that does NOT pop.
Gone are the days of whiling away hours popping bubbles in lieu of packing for a big move. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new and (allegedly) improved product is called iBubble Wrap–sorry Apple, that one’s taken–and will sell as flat plastic sheets that have to be manually plumped up, column by column, by the companies that use it for shipping purposes. Once filled, the Bubble Wrap will look much like its predecessor, but don’t bother trying to pop it: When you apply pressure to a bubble, the air simply moves into another one, because the bubbles in each column of the material are connected.
Sealed Air claims that in recent years, fewer companies have looked to Bubble Wrap to meet their packing needs, with the advent of lighter, more efficient packaging options. The WSJ reports that in 2012, Bubble Wrap only accounted for 3.6% of Sealed Air’s sales; just two years earlier, it was at 5.7%. One of the company’s biggest issues was that shipping Bubble Wrap over long distances was expensive, due to the sheer size of it.
But fear not! Though it may become less ubiquitous as retailers switch over to the new cost-effective variety, the OG Bubble Wrap will continue to be sold. And if all else fails, get your fill of popping via Virtual Bubble Wrap.