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The history of plastic heritage of UK

Plastic Polymers
Plastic Polymers


UK plastic Industry



It has always been a saying that the plastics are the part of UKs DNA due to a specific reason that plastics were first discovered in the UK and it has become one of the critical breakthroughs of the modern industrialization and human civilization. Here we discuss the rich and endeavors of the plastic heritage of the United Kingdom.

The invention of “Mac”

One of the notable forms of plastic was patented on June 1823 by Charles Macintosh from Glasgow. He used the Indian rubber solution in naphtha in between two layers of cloth which looks like a form of two sandwiches press together. The interior parts of this rubber formed a layer that was impermeable to water. With this invention the “Mac” was born. It was a breakthrough in innovation and spurred the manufacture of rubber goods including rubber shoes and cushions.

Gutta- Percha

The development of the plastic forms was still going on and in the year of 1850 world’s first submarine cable was made from gutta-percha & that was laid between Dover and Calais. This was an inelastic substance based on a special type of latex, extracted from trees from the Far East, which had been introduced to Britain eight years earlier by Dr William Montgomerie.

The first commercial plastic “parkesine”

In the year of 1862 the first commercial plastic “parkesine” was first introduced by Mr. Alexander Parkes at great international exhibition in London. This was the first man made plastic and it was produced from cellulose that once had been heated. Click on Plastic Polymers to know more.


1933 was one of the most significant years in plastic innovations. In that very year scientists named as Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett set up an experiment with the mixture of ethylene and benzaldehyde. They heated the mixture up to 170 degree Celsius and invented polyethylene. A month later British plastic Federation was formed and the commercial UK plastic Industry had been established. In September of 1939 the first commercial LDPE (low density polyethylene) plant was started up in Cheshire, UK with a production capacity of 100 tons per year.

Later the PET to PEEK and beyond

In 1941 the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was discovered by chemists Jon Rex Whinfield and James Tennant Dickson. Later on many discoveries had implemented in the UK including PEEK and Biopol, the pioneering bio base materials. The constantly evolving plastics industry will continue to enable key technological advances throughout the 21st century. Now through the help of Injection Moulding Machines any shape can be formed with plastic.