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Cling Film/Cling wrap

This was invented by Ralph Wiley when he was working for Dow Chemicals in 1933, and is made from Saran polyvinylidene chloride - so he gave it the name 'Saran'.

The molecules of the material are very tightly bound, so that very little air or moisture can pass through. It's original use was as a waterproof coating for military planes operating over the sea, during the Second World War - and it was then coloured green and had an unpleasant smell.

After the War, more work was done, the green colour and smell removed, and it was given a clean bill of health for food use.

It is now advised that cling film containing PVC isn't used to wrap fatty items, such as cheese. But non-PVC wrap is available.

Cling film is often called 'Glad Wrap' in the Southern Hemisphere.

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