And then, one day, it didn't stick anymore. And I wondered: Was it just me? Was I misremembering how good it was? Because if you try to wrap something in today's Saran Wrap, you'll find that it's about as effective as trying to verbally convince the leftovers to not spoil.
It's a relief knowing that I didn't imagine it. The loss of cling is real.
What bestowed Saran Wrap with clingy magic was a chemical called Polyvinylidene Chloride, or PVDC. And it was toxic. When people threw away the wrap along with the eight-week-old leftover casserole they finally admitted they were never going to finish, the plastic would eventually get incinerated at disposal facilities, sending poisonous toxins drifting into the air for us to breathe.
That didn't sit well with Fisk Johnson, the CEO of SC Johnson, Saran Wrap's corporate owner, as well as the bearer of a name that makes him constantly sound like he's going to bully George McFly. He ordered the removal of PVDC, fully aware the chemical was the reason Saran Wrap worked so well. For a year, he and his engineers worked on a cost-effective replacement that wouldn't harm the environment. They came up with ... nothing. So they reformulated Saran Wrap to the best of their ability, knowing that unless there was some kind of chemical compound breakthrough, they were never going to duplicate the results of the old, toxic formula.
Before the change, Saran Wrap's market share was an 18 percent. Today it's at 11 percent. Johnson removed PVDC for the betterment of the human race, knowing it would hurt sales, and he didn't give a s**t, and now I want to make a clear plastic film for storing meatloaf our new flag so I can salute it. It's beautiful to hear a corporation do the ethical thing by playing their small part in making the world a cleaner place to live at the risk of profits. For all I know, SC Johnson is trying to turn us into screaming cancerous flesh blobs with plutonium-powered Glade Plug-Ins, but this one act is a nice gesture that corporate giants don't often do willingly. Is my kitchen floor absolutely caked with food that refused to be contained? Yes. But are my lungs Saran-Wrap-gas-free? Hell yes.
Luis is busy trying to come up with his own billion-dollar Garfield-style scam. In the meantime, you can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
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