Plastique was established in December 1979. The purpose of the business was to provide innovative solutions in thermoformed packaging to the cosmetics, personal care, toiletries and pharmaceutical markets. The directors had extensive experience in the packaging market and their strategy was to supply what was an expanding market area in the UK.
The company set up operations near Tonbridge in Kent. As planned, Plastique established itself within its chosen markets and gained early successes with Lever Faberge and Yardley. This brought about a reputation for quality, design and service. Soon more companies, including Lentheric Morny, Revlon and The Welcome Foundation, were added to its portfolio.
The increase in business resulted in a move to larger premises in Tonbridge and the expansion to inline thermoforming machinery. In 1986, the shareholders purchased 2.5 acres of land from British Gas, again in Tonbridge. A building specifically designed for thermoformed packaging conversion was constructed, and further investment in machinery took place together with the start-up of a tooling division that prepared initial sample tooling and manufactured full production aluminium tooling and ancillary equipment.
The strategy at that point in time was to maintain Tonbridge as the head office and major manufacturing facility and also to set up satellite operations at different locations in the UK to provide a locally based supply to its major customers. This resulted in the opening of an operation in Nottingham to service businesses in the Midlands and the North in 1995. Tool design facilities were expanded in Tonbridge with investment in personnel and equipment to provide options for computer aided design and 3-D milling.
Given the increase in business, the decision was taken to move the Nottingham operation to a larger building in Hucknall, a 27 thousand square feet factory, which is the current UK manufacturing facility.
By 2003, significant clients were closing their UK operations and moving them to central Europe. Following a business review the decision was taken in 2005 to support these moves by the establishment of a manufacturing operation in Poland. After extensive investigations the city of Poznan was chosen as the location for the operation. Our Polish entity, Plastique Spolka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia was set up in early 2006.
In 2009, the Tonbridge site was sold to developers and the head office, design & tooling hub was moved to Tunbridge Wells. Additionally in 2009, John Lowe & Perry Rigler purchased the company from the founding directors following a management buyout.
In 2014, we began the production of dry pressed smooth sided fibre packaging made from natural and sustainable materials.
In 2016, Plastique was purchased by NYSE listed ESCO Technologies and is now part of the technical packaging division alongside TEQ Thermoformed Engineered Quality, based in Huntley, Illinois.
Today, Plastique continues to be regarded as the market leader for the design and manufacture of thermoformed packaging for the cosmetics, toiletries, personal care and pharmaceutical markets. That expertise has been extended to the food and general retail market. The opening of the Polish factory means that we now have the opportunity to sell to a wider market place.