Technological watch

Distrupol reflects on six decades in plastics - and what lies ahead

Cover stars for the latest edition of British Plastics & Rubber Magazine, Distrupol reflects on its past, and prepares for its future.

Plastic. It’s come a long way in its relatively short life. With its birth story starting in the early 1800s, it’s the much younger and slightly more rebellious cousin of more traditional, BC-discovered materials such as glass and metal.

The fast-paced development of plastic over the last 200 years is remarkable.

Distrupol reflects on six decades in plastics - and what lies ahead The first injection moulding machine was patented in 1872, Nylon was patented in 1935, PVC was first produced in the UK in 1940, ABS was produced in 1948, the first acetals were patented in 1956, Distrupol was established in 1963, and the following 60 years saw lightening-speed advancements in technology that supported an explosion in demand for the unique attributes of the polymer family.

Wherever you’re reading this right now - in the office, on the train, at your kitchen table – surrounding you will be hundreds of plastic applications serving you loyally. The intricate electronic components inside your phone, the protective food packaging in the fridge, the safety features comforting you in your car, the mechanisms in the window frames, even the clothes you’re wearing right now. Our whole world is a real-life combination of ‘Polymers In Action’ ( The lightweight, cost-effective, versatile, strong, safe, reliable and unique features of plastic make it impossible to match.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

The fast-consuming lifestyle we’ve come to expect in the last 20 years in particular is burdensome. People’s single-use, throwaway nature is undeniably unsustainable. As we stand here as an industry elder today, closing our fifth decade, reminiscing over the last 60 years, looking forward to the next - we have questions. What’s to come' What needs to change' What will improve' How will this affect us' How can we help'

Going back…We started in the polymer distribution game way back in the early 1960s, known as Ronmar Plastics at the time. Though we’ve been acquired, undergone rebranding, and made several acquisitions ourselves, our fundamental principle of delivering world-class polymer solutions has never wavered.

Our business has seen the introduction of the mobile phone, the first installation of the PVC window, and the rise of autonomous vehicles. Our polymer experts’ knowledge has been instrumental in the development of thousands of plastic products across the medical, automotive, electronics, wire and cable, industrial, consumer and film sectors. We work with major market innovators and inventors. In short, we’ve seen it all.

But not everything we’ve seen, we’ve liked.

Back to the present day…The last 10 years have highlighted how carelessness is costing our planet. We’ve all seen the photos and the scary statistics; we all know there’s only so much the planet (and specifically its oceans) can take. But each country’s plastic profile is different. Usage, disposal and recycling rates vary drastically, and plenty of data exists which demonstrates exactly where the ocean’s plastic pollution comes from.

The rise of bioplastics and recycled plastics provide opportunities to revamp the sustainability of products, bans and taxes contribute to a more sustainable approach, and re-educating the consumer supports more responsible behaviour.

Of course, there is not a single solution. Enhancing product designs and manufacturing processes are also integral to the future of plastics in a modern and sustainable society.

We don’t just buy and sell. We never have. We’ve got 60 years of operational excellence under our belts. We innovate. We design, develop, deliver. We provide opportunity to improve. We leverage #ThePositivesOfPlastic to lighten product weights, to extend product life, to fireproof products, to create unique solutions, to save lives. This is the plastic we’re passionate about.

We've lived the history; it's been quite a journey. Now it's time to be part of the future. Here’s to the next 60 years.

Back to Search Results

Publication date: 03/08/2022

European Plastic Product Manufacturer


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.