Packaging Innovation
January 19, 2015

Are the days of bubble wrap protective packaging numbered?

Buying online has become second nature to most people. It’s quick, cheap and easy. Getting your goods delivered unharmed can be quite tricky though. Order and delivery services such as Amazon often use bubble wrap to protect valuable items but this may soon come to an end. Meet ExpandOS, the Styrofoam killer.

What is ExpandOS?

ExpandOS is little more than three-dimensional triangular “paperboard popcorn” which can be used to protect all kinds of items from harm. The system consists of customized paperboard sheet material and an expander machine that rapidly cuts and folds. Serrations on the edges of the structure help the pieces lock together creating a reliable protective cover for your goods.

ExpandOS is less expensive than bubble wrap

According to ExpandOS CEO Jeff Boothman the product is 20% less expensive than bubble wrap and up to 40% faster to use than foam-in-place packaging. “We call it paper cement” inventor William Oliver says. “When you pile it out, things stay exactly where you put them.”

Triangles can be custom-made according to sturdiness

A closer look at the pieces learns that each cut is made from sustainably harvested paper pulp and is recyclable at the curbside. What’s more, ExpandOS has the ability to meet different technical requirements by changing the material’s thickness. Triangles made from thinner paper can cushion bottles of olive oil, while units made from heavy card stock can prevent a drill bit from piercing a shipping box.

Have look at the video and see for yourself.

It remains to be seen if ExpandOS is really able to replace bubble wrap and Styrofoam in the long run. However, it does seem to be an interesting approach to a well-documented problem.