UK plastics community Interplas to honour most influential figures of the UK plastics industry

Source: Rapid News Group

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As the UK’s leading plastics exhibition and conference turns 75 in 2023, Rapid News Group, the organiser of the event, opens nominations for the Interplas 75 @ 75 — the most influential figures in the UK plastics industry during the 75-year history of the event.

Interplas wants to honour the most influential figures in the UK plastics industry.
Interplas wants to honour the most influential figures in the UK plastics industry.
(Source: Public Domain / Pixabay)

The plastics industry has undergone several transformations over the past 75 years. From the post-war period which saw the introduction of the vinyl record, not to mention the arrival of Airfix kits, to the fifties which saw HDPE and polycarbonates come into commercial use. By the seventies, the PET bottle was in mass production, and all of a sudden, plastic had become the most used material in the world.

Inevitably, engineers and innovators kept seeking new uses for the ‘material of the future’, and by the 80s and 90s, plastic was replacing metal, glass and wood in automotive, construction and electrical applications. Attracted to its light weight, aesthetic potential and performance characteristics, designers and OEMs continued to be increasingly drawn to plastic.

The last twenty years have seen plastic play an increasingly important role in society’s most important applications, from military to medical, aviation to infrastructure. But the latter period has also been marked by challenging publicity, with the recyclability and renewability of plastics becoming a major cause for concern. Once again, however, the pioneers of the sector have risen to the challenge, delivering solutions from chemical recycling to biodegradable resins.

Throughout this remarkable journey, certain individuals from the UK plastics community have been impactful in driving change and innovation. To coincide with the 75th Anniversary edition of Interplas, Rapid News Group is inviting the industry to nominate the individuals who’ve made a significant impact to the UK plastics industry.

Potential nominees could be inventors, engineers, designers, innovators, polymer scientists, academics, researchers, business leaders, sustainability pioneers or outspoken advocates for the use of plastics. The key criteria states that nominees must have made an important contribution to the growth of the UK industry. Nominations can be made via the survey here.

The final line-up will be announced at Interplas 2023. Given the lengthy period of time covered by the honorary roll-call, posthumous nominations are also welcomed from the industry.

Duncan Wood, CEO, Rapid News Group, said: “Interplas has been a focal point for the UK plastics industry for seventy-five years and as we reflect on that history it is a timely point to recognise those individuals who have played their part in driving the UK industry forward during that period. I encourage everyone in the community to have their say and look forward to seeing the final line up next September.”

Dave Gray, Head of Content, Interplas Insights added: “The plastics industry has a rich history of innovation – no other material has made such strides in such a short space of time. The past 75 years have seen entire sub-sectors of the plastics industry built around the work of specific individuals. From George de Mestral’s 1940s work with nylon in developing the hook and loop fastening material now known around the world as Velcro, to the invention of the gravimetric batch blender in the late 80s by Steve Maguire, there are so many individuals without whom the industry wouldn’t be what it is today.”


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