Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bubble Wrap

Oil is NOT for bubble wrap!

As I am largely housebound due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I do a lot of my shopping online and receive many packages through the mail. I also sell online, but nevertheless receive far more bubble wrap than I can reuse.

Whilst bubble wrap is recyclable, at least in the US and Germany, it is so unnecessary! For almost every application, screwed up or shredded paper (preferably old newspapers, although I accept that that wouldn't work for most commercial businesses who ship large numbers of parcels) works just as well. In addition, unlike bubble wrap, newspaper requires minimal energy to produce, comes from a renewable source, and is fully recyclable.

For those few applications where nothing else will do, look for PLA bubblewrap, although no one seems to be producing it commercially yet. Poly lactic acid (PLA) is derived not from oil but from starchy crops like corn and sugarbeet. Of course, producing plastic from these crops does compete with their use as foods, so even PLA bubblewrap should be used sparingly.

And, if the idea of never being able to pop bubblewrap again fills your heart with despair then fear not! The Japanese have produced the Mugen Puchipuchi key chain, designed to mimic the sound and feel of popping bubble wrap with eight bubble cells you carry around with you. It even makes additional noises every 100 pops! Although it is made of plastic, but it'll keep you occupied much longer than the same weight of plastic as normal bubble wrap :-) And whilst you're busy sourcing your key chain you can also check out this bubble-popping game from the manufacturers of the original bubblewrap, Sealed Air.

Have fun popping away!

1 comment:

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Heather - thanks for leaving your kind comment on my recipe blog - I'm so glad it led me here.

I'm guilty of overusing bubble wrap!! I never even thought about it before. Okay, shredded and scrumpled paper it is, from now on.

Very impressed with your solar cooked pavlova too. What a cool idea!