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The BPF was formally constituted in 1933 in the middle of what Robert Graves dubbed ‘The Long Weekend’ of the inter-war years, coinciding with the invention of Polyethylene, the first screening of the Hollywood film ‘King Kong’, and the darkening of the international scene as Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.
The BPF was born out of a pre-existing British Moulded Plastics Trade Association which had been founded in 1929 and the prime movers in its creation were two far- sighted journalists, M P McFarlane and EJ Wilkins, who together formed the editorial team of the ‘British Plastics and Moulded Products Trader’. From its outset the BPF embraced all the key elements of the industry- plastics processors, raw material and machinery manufacturers- and that single focus provided by the Federation for the whole of the industry has persisted until today as the BPF celebrates its 75th Anniversary.
Not only is it the oldest plastics trade federation in the world, in keeping with the UK’s role as the birthplace of the commercial plastics industry in 1861, but it also provided the model for many other plastics trade bodies around the world, notably the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in the United States.