Packaging solutions are available in many kinds for different purposes. They are designed to specifically provide some functionality needed by different items. Some are designed to offer aesthetic value, some are made to preserve against natural deterioration, some offer security while some will protect against damage by external forces such as shock, punctures, scratches etc. Most of the packaging solutions are designed in such a way that they will provide a combination of several of the above functionalities. Bubble envelopes, also known as jiffy bags are a great example of packaging that have been designed to offer more than one functionality.
Bubble envelopes were developed in a process over a long period of time to come up with the great packaging solution we have today. The history starts from when individuals personally made their own parcels/ envelopes to package their mail. Mail objects would be wrapped in several sheets of newsprint or Styrofoam chips that resulted in extremely bulky mail. Given that postage rates are based on weight, this methodology was very expensive though the people had no choice since they needed the items to be delivered in good condition. Another reason was that by thickly covering the objects, it increased the items security since it would be hard to know the contents of the mail. A company known as Jiffy started the use of adding cushioning to the normal envelope using wood wool, later the company was taken over by Sealed air; the company that makes bubble wrap. The company started using bubble wrap as cushioning instead of wood wool and thus have the envelopes been produced to date albeit a few improvements in design.
The bubbles are important for protection against forces that cause shock that could damage the items in the envelope. They also provide some surface protection although not so much. The bubbles also help in protecting the identity of the objects inside since the spongy bulkiness does not reveal the shape of the object. The outer plastic is air and water proof to further protect against wetness and corrosion. The polyethylene is also tough making it tear and puncture resistant. Bubble envelopes also have a strong seal that is tamper proof. The envelopes do not attract high postage charges since they are very light.
Many people prefer using bubble envelopes to other types of envelopes when sending valuables or fragile objects. Therefore their demand is usually high and a store owner dealing in stationery should not be caught without them in stock.