What is Bubble Wrap, why do we still use it and how can we reuse it?
Bubble Wrap is a queer one, we sort of love it but we know it is bad for the environment so hate it. This is particularly us, we started Crimson Tiger in 2013 and in our naivety purchased and as options at that point were limited especially to a company just starting up we purchased a roll of Bubble Wrap. We have never purchased another roll. So how on earth do we have so much of it? We save all the bubble wrap we receive from our suppliers; we do try to choose more environmentally aware companies as our suppliers and I am glad to say that is getting much easier and I would say in the last sixth months 95% of our items are received with more eco packaging. As we have saved more than we have actually used, we avoid using it unnecessarily, we have a mountain of bubble wrap in storage so continue to use it to wrap our goods, desperate to see the last of it but not wanting to waste it.
Bubble Wrap started as wallpaper, no seriously, that is how the inventors expected it to be used. Alfred Fielding and his business partner Marc Chavannes originally were working on designs for textured wallpapers. In 1957 they took two plastic shower curtains (bet you are looking at your shower curtain in a new light!) and put them through a heat sealer, trapping air into cushions. Funnily enough, it did not take off and it was IBM who recognised the benefits of Bubble Wrap for packaging their computers in. Meanwhile, Fielding’s young son already had discovered the delight of bursting the bubbles, which in those days were much bigger.
Back in my early twenties I was suited and booted in heels I was caught by some delivery gentlemen being a total child in the office where I thought I was alone. I had laid out some of the Bubble Wrap that was ready to be disposed of on the floor and was jumping and spinning to burst all the bubbles. My goodness, it was so much fun. Nowadays we carefully roll up even the smallest of scraps and store them for future use while our fingers twitch to burst the bubbles.
So, what can you do with the bubble wrap that we sometimes have to send your orders out in? Well, here is a list we have compiled for you. Some are sensible, some we do ourselves, others are random and untried!
Reuse as packaging
Well, this is an obvious one, no further explanations are needed.
Protect your plants
Wrap Bubble Wrap around plants, or blanket ground cover for small seedlings to protect them from the elements.
To Line your Greenhouse
For those lucky enough and green-fingered enough to have a greenhouse then line the windows with the Bubble Wrap to help keep it warm.
We have a few windows with old double glazing that has ‘blown’ and are too brittle and old to fix so until we can afford to replace them, during particularly cold spells, we tape some of our personal Bubble Wrap to the window. To think we were asked to appear on Rich House Poor House with the thought of us being the Rich House, oh, how we laughed with the thought of how disappointed a family would be to turn up and see our many uses of Duct tape holding things together, bubble wrap windows and lack of funds!
Keep Food Warm or Cool
Having a picnic, need food for a road trip, or need to bring frozen food or rotisserie food home from the supermarket? Wrap the items up, pop them in a bag, and off you go.
In The Fridge
Pop a layer of bubble wrap in your fridge salad draw to protect delicate fruit and veg, it is also easier to whip out a layer of bubble wrap from the drawer and dunk it in the sink if things get messy. You can also use it to line your fridge shelves.
Protect Your Boots
Roll up some bubble wrap to the right length and width and pop in your boots, which helps keep their shape for longer.
For those who have a Sunday best, not for the kids to smash up, dinner service, you can protect the plates and bowls from scratches by cutting out squares and placing in between each plate and bowl that is stacked.
Protect Your Frying Pans
Like with plates, if your frying pans have a non-stick coating and you place another pot or pan on top then they will scratch so lay a piece of suitable sized Bubble Wrap between each one.
If you are using brooms, gardening tools regularly you can get little callouses on your hand, just wrap some spare Bubble Wrap around the handles.
If you have an outside tap and it has no insulation, wrap some spare Bubble Wrap around it during cold snaps.
Curl Your Hair
We’ve not tried this but we can only assume it is the same hack as using your dressing gown cord that is all over TikTok. Another version is to roll them up into little rollers and then wrap your wet hair around and leave to dry naturally.
Protect Your Make-Up Bag
When traveling, especially if you are using soft luggage, take any popped Bubble Wrap place a small piece over the top of a bottle, and then screw on the lid. Then put the make-up bag in a spare Bubble Wrap bag. This not only protects it but also protects your clothes if anything bursts or leaks.
Some councils, not many so please check if yours does, will take the Bubble Wrap in your recycling bin.