National Bubble Wrap Day or National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the last Monday of January to recognize a fascinating invention. Bubble Wrap is a wonderful and fun toy created by accident, just for the purpose of preserving delicate items through transportation.
From there, it becomes a therapeutic bonus per shipping container, loved by men, women, children, and animals alike! What if you've never held a Bubble Wrap piece in your hand and just STARTED making it? We're not sure we want to know you.
How is Bubble Wrap packaging made?
Bubble Wrap brand cushions start out as polyethylene (plastic), in the form of pea-sized granules. The granules are fed into an extruder, a long cylinder with an internal screw that runs its entire length. As the screw is rotated, heat builds up and the molten plastic becomes a liquid which is forced out of the cylinder into two stacked sheets of transparent plastic film. A film is wound around the perforated drum, and suction is applied to draw a film into the holes forming bubbles. Then the second layer is pressed onto the first layer so that the two layers are joined together, and trap the air in the bubbles.
This sounds easy, but polyethylene is a sponge-like porous material. Air can easily get out through the voids, which tends to limit the cushioning ability of the packaging. Realizing this, Sealed Air started using Saran coating to seal the air in the bubble. Finally, a method of enclosing a barrier that traps air in polyethylene during extrusion was developed. This process is a business secret of Sealed Air Corporation.
History of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
Bubble Wrap is a generic brand — a name that has become synonymous with similar products — for a transparent plastic material with air-filled bubbles used to package fragile products when they are shipped. Bubble Wrap is also often shown for entertainment and stress relief purposes. Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day was started by a radio station called Spirit 95 in Bloomington, Indiana. 2001 was the first time of celebration.
In 1957, Engineers Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding worked in a garage to create three-dimensional plastic wallpaper, by gluing two bathroom curtains together. They were unsuccessful in selling their wallpaper, so they started marketing it as greenhouse insulation. In 1960, they founded the Sealed Air Corporation. The following year, they realized their product could be used as a packaging and cushioning material. It was originally used to pack IBM 1401 computers for shipping. Now it is used for food packaging more than anything else. Balloons generally vary in size, typically from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in diameter. Bubble Wrap is usually made from polyethylene film.
How to celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
The best way to enjoy Bubble Wrap appreciation day is by taking a roll of old Bubble Wrap and popping each bubble in the paper. Don't forget to share these with your friends and family who need a little stress relief, and then share another sheet with them.
One of our favorite ways to destabilize Bubble Wrap is to take it and roll it in a tube, grabbing both ends of it and twisting as hard as we can, causing a bunch of pops. Maybe you can even spend the rest of your day finding new uses for your Bubble Wrap!
ObservedBubble Wrap Appreciation Day has been observed the last Monday in January.
Monday, January 27th, 2020
Monday, January 25th, 2021
Monday, January 31st, 2022
Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 29th, 2024
Spirit 95 in 2001