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Sci-Tech

Sssssssssss! The advent of bubble wrap that doesn't pop

Technically Incorrect: The people who make bubble wrap have another version, one that your kids just can't play with anymore.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Taking the fun out of packaging? ASMattR/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some things we assume are permanent.

The color of grass, for example. Or the venality of politicians.

Yet one day, all grass will be brown and all politicians will be rational, thoughtful robots. And all bubble wrap won't pop.

I posit this desperate scenario because The Wall Street Journal tells me that the people who make bubble wrap -- a company called Sealed Air -- have another version, one that doesn't pop at all.

While you and your children weep, you'll imagine this has something to do with efficiency.

Sealed Air's Ken Aurichio told me that the company has actually been using the pop-free technology for 12 years. It's sold in flat sheets that take up one-fiftieth of the space of inflated bubble wrap. The shipper then pumps up the sheets with a custom-made device. It's just like an air pillow you might buy online.

In the case of this bubble wrap, the air is simply passed from one bubble to the next.

Aurichio told me: "As online retail grows, there's a greater demand for this sort of faster, more sustainable packaging."

In essence, the more you shop online, the more likely it is that your life will become pop-less.

But what about bubble wrap that pops? Doesn't Sealed Air realize just how many hours of endless, mindless pleasure people get from it?

Aurichio doesn't want to pop anyone's bubble: "Bubble wrap that pops will still exist in everyone's lifetime."

There. Doesn't that feel better?