27 Oct 2011 A Versatile Sustainable Packaging Solution – Inflatable “Bubble on Demand” Products
As the name would imply, “bubble on demand” is essentially un-inflated bubble packaging you inflate on an as needed basis. The benefits of this type of packaging material are enormous when you consider the cost of transporting and storing “pre-inflated” or ready to use flowable materials such as foam peanuts, pre-formed paper products or even rolls of pre-inflated bubble packaging. All of those space consuming products also leave a substantial carbon footprint behind compared to bubble on demand type products.
The Difference Between Void Fill and Blocking/Bracing Products
There are many inflatable void fill or “pillow” systems available, so the confusion between that type of packaging product and bubble on demand systems is understandable.
Inflatable void fill air pillows are designed to fill an empty area or void, hence the name. Their primary purpose is to minimize the bouncing around a product has to endure when it is shipped in an oversized box. Even though it provides some level of cushioning, it typically does not do much in terms of blocking and bracing.
Blocking or bracing is when a packaging material is used to immobilize the contents of a box during shipment. It also provides a degree of cushioning but its primary function is product retention during the shipping process. This is crucial, especially if the item being shipped is heavy and may otherwise migrate through other forms of interior, void fill type packaging. Packaging products designed for this type of application tend to be more rugged and, gratefully, much more difficult to puncture or burst.
A Choice of Two Bubble on Demand Configurations
We offer two configurations for slightly different product applications. Our new “tube” configuration (pictured above) is ideal for square or rectangular products such as books. The shape of the tubes makes them much easier to force down in between the product and the inside wall of the shipping box.
Our “quilted” configuration (pictured below), on the other hand, is easier to wrap around round or irregularly shaped products. It flexes and bends in two directions, making it easier to fold and surround a fragile product. Also, because it looks much like the pre-inflated bubble packaging on rolls it often replaces, operators adapt to it quickly and easily.
Three Types and Levels of Green Packaging Material
Both configurations are available in three different materials:
- Standard clear that is recyclable
- Translucent green tint that is biodegradable AND recyclable
- Opaque dark green that is made of 100% recycled content AND recyclable
We enable a customer to pick from the three grades and select the material that is best for them and the people they are shipping to.
Please remember all bubble is not created equal and much of what is available (pre-inflated or un-inflated) is not recyclable at all. Also, compared to paper void fill systems, packers find bubble on demand to be easy to work with because it is clean and eliminates those nasty paper cuts. You just can’t put a price on happy packers and improved efficiency.
Contact Salazar Packaging if you have any interest or questions on this or other green protective packaging solutions.