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Get Ready to Pop! It's Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Jan 31, 2011 – 7:12 AM
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Save that loose packing material, because Monday marks a day to officially celebrate one of the greatest "pop" icons of all time: Bubble Wrap.

For the past 10 years, fans from around the country have been setting aside time on the last Monday in January to twist and stomp, often in unison, as they commemorate what's known as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

Bubble Wrap
Sealed Air
Bubble Wrap is big business. Manufacturer Sealed Air operates in 52 countries, employing 17,000 people and earning annual revenue of more than $4 billion.
The day, known as BWAD, was begun in 2001 by a couple of bored radio DJs in Bloomington, Ind., supposedly looking to fill the news void between Martin Luther King Day and the Super Bowl. During that first BWAD, the radio station held a "Bubblympiad" that included events such as a Bubble Wrap popping relay and Pop-a-Mole.

Since then, fandom has taken over, as Bubble Wrap lovers and addicts have loudly and proudly feted the packing material introduced in 1960, originally designed as insulated wallpaper.

Among the fans are the employees of Sealed Air, the New Jersey company that makes Bubble Wrap.

"Oh yeah, we celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day," said Ken Aurichio, a spokesman for Sealed Air, in an interview with AOL News. "We have boxes of the stuff around the office. People can just walk by and grab a sheet. You'll hear popping throughout the day."

Not that BWAD is different from any other day at Sealed Air. Aurichio added that, as a perk, employees get their own memo-sized sheets of Bubble Wrap to play with at their desks.

He reminds people to have plenty of Bubble Wrap on hand for the day and be conscious of what size they are buying.

"The larger Bubble Wrap makes more noise when you pop it," he said, "but, of course, the smaller Bubble Wrap sizes give you more pop per role."

Throughout the years, fans have paid homage to Bubble Wrap in unique ways. There are homemade Bubble Wrap football helmets, handbags and dresses. One woman even got married in a Bubble Wrap wedding gown.

Festivities on BWAD, though, center on a singular activity: popping.

"I'm going to put Bubble Wrap on the souls of my shoes and annoy the people in my office," said Deanna Ferrante, communications director at Peddie School in Highstown, N.J.

An admitted Bubble Wrap addict, Ferrante added, "My usual technique tends to be a little more individual, rather than large stomping and twisting. I like to pop and make sure I don't miss a single one."

Another fan, Mark Le Vine, co-owner of BubbleFAST, a Chicago-area shipping supply company, plans to pop throughout the day. He also suggested that BWAD revelers take a coffee break at the same time to pop Bubble Wrap.

"It would be the bubble pop heard around the world," he said in an interview.

Le Vine, who along with his wife, Robin, is known to post-office clerks around town as "Bubbleman and Robin," has more than a passing appreciation for Bubble Wrap.

"We're a small family-owned business, and Bubble Wrap first put two kids through college and there are two more to go, and it put food on the table. So, I don't know how you can appreciate Bubble Wrap any more than that."
Filed under: Nation, Weird News, Good News, AOL Original
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