How does bubble wrap become bubbly? © Alamy

How does bubble wrap become bubbly?

Asked by: Connie Foy, Buckinghamshire

Invented in the US in 1957, bubble wrap is made by heating a thin sheet of plastic film as it passes between perforated rollers. Air is blown through the holes in the rollers, to stretch half-dome bubbles in the sheet. Then a second layer of plastic is bonded underneath the sheet, to seal the air into individual bubbles.

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Bubble wrap can be recycled at some facilities, but there are more environmentally friendly options. One alternative, for example, uses kraft paper that’s been stamped with a special pattern of slits, which allows it to be pulled into a honeycomb-like mesh that can be wrapped around fragile items.

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