The British Plastics Federation (BPF) is the oldest plastics federation in the world. It was formerly constituted in 1933, coincidentally the year of the invention of polyethylene. From its outset it embraced all the key elements of the industry: raw materials, plastics processors, machinery manufacturers. Now it has over 400 members and is the most powerful voice in the UK industry with a strong global presence.
During its early years it focused on establishing the credibility for what was a young material, the immense potential of which was far from appreciated. During the Second World War it worked closely with the War Office on the provision of plastics materials for the war effort. As plastics have played an ever increasing part in our lives, this relationship has expanded with the BPF taking the lead with government in terms of economic pressures facing the industry, waste management, and product safety. High profile incidents of the latter include appropriate use of cling film particularly in connection with the emerging cooking technologies of the microwave oven during the 1980s and false claims linking cot deaths to mattresses containing plastics in the 1990s.
It has also been prescient, in terms of sustainability issues with the setting up of an Environment Committee in 1970, publication of JJP Staudinger, ed., Plastics and the Environment in 1974, and the organisation of a PET bottle recycling scheme to help establish the UK's emerging PET bottle industry in 1981.
MoDiP is therefore privileged to receive support from the BPF. We were delighted to work with the Federation on the exhibition it mounted in response to its paper, The UK Plastics Industry: a strategic manufacturing sector, at the Department for Business , Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1, from 22 July - 2 August 2013. The exhibition being opened by Michael Fallon MP, Minister for State for Business and Enterprise'.
We are pleased also to have an ongoing relationship with the BPF. We have agreed to supply their London offices with a display of iconic plastics objects, changing every six months. The current theme is 'You can do it with plastics' and demonstrates the incredible versatility of plastics under the headings buoyancy, flexibility, recycling, enablement, colour and sustainability. We are pleased also to show the winning designs of the Student Design Innovation in Plastics competition which the BPF sponsors. The 2013 winning designs can be seen on display at MoDiP here.
A resource of the BPF likely to be of considerable use to MoDiP's visitors is its magnificent website which includes the world's largest online plastics encyclopedia: Plastipedia.