Our Plastex factory team at work in Essex, UK.

We have over 50 years' experience designing and manufacturing cutting-edge matting and flooring that enables everyone to become safer, more profitable and more productive across their work, education and recreation environments.

We’re proud to be a family-run business that spans three generations.

Our story began in January 1963, in a rented workshop in Essex, in the east of England. Britain was in the grip of the coldest winter on record, so cold that it started snowing on Boxing Day and didn’t let up til March (even the seas froze over).

Back then, we had just two employees – Derry O’Sullivan & Peter Lee – and a second hand extrusion machine with a mind of its own. Derry and Peter were colleagues at an existing extrusion company, and when Derry told Peter he was leaving to set up his own company, Peter said he was planning to do the same, so they agreed to do it together.

Plastex was founded in 1963, during the coldest UK winter on record.

The Essex workshop was miles away from where Peter and Derry lived, and accommodation was hard to find – so the duo opted to live in a caravan, with one person always on hand to tame the temperamental machine. Needless to say, it was a battle against the clock – and against the elements.

In the early days, we were jobbing extruders, making anything that would pay the bills – strip curtains, lay flat tubing, hot rod tracks.

In the 1970s, Plastex started extruding tensional strapping and open-grid matting.

That all changed in the early 1970s, however, when Derry had the idea of trying to extrude tensional strapping and open grid matting. They started designing and manufacturing their own products that year – first off the extrusion machine was Heron Vinyl Duckboard, a mat we still make today.

In 1978, we started Plastic Extruders Inc – in partnership with Gerrard Ovalstrapping in Canada – to manufacture strapping. The following year we launched Plastex Design and Engineering Co to design and build our own extrusion machinery. It’s worth noting that the very first extrusion machine that Derry built worked perfectly the first time around and required no alterations.

In 1998, to support the expansion of our matting business, we launched a second production site in Fort Payne, Alabama. The site opened with one extrusion line and six employees; in 2000, we installed a second line to keep up with demand. Today, our US site has 21 full time employees and two part time employees, and we’re proud to say that we operate 24 hours a day, five days a week.

In 1998, Plastex opened a second site in Fort Payne, Alabama.

A lot has changed since our cramped workshop days.

We now have a team of 70 who design and manufacture over 30 different products across two sites in Alabama and Essex. Our products sit at the forefront of matting technology, and we’re proud to be ISO 9001:2015 certificated.

Plastex has a team of 70 working across Alabama and Essex.
Plastex products sit at the forefront of matting technology.

What hasn’t changed is our dedication to finding a matting solution for every need.

We work tirelessly with our clients and distributors to design custom solutions that solve safety, health, comfort and productivity problems across a huge range of industries. We pride ourselves on knowing our products inside out – we even make the machines that make them! And just like Derry and Peter back in 1963, our team works around the clock to deliver world-class service and innovative products to our customers.

The Plastex team deliver innovative products and world-class service.

1963

January

Plastex Extruders Ltd opens in Essex as a general extrusion manufacturer.

1970s

Start to specialize in plastic tensional strapping and plastic matting. First product launched is Vynagrip, our best-selling slip resistance matting.

1978

Plastex Extruders Inc launches in partnership with Gerrard Ovalstrapping in Canada.

1979

Plastex Design and Engineering Co launches, so we can design and build our own extrusion machinery.

1981

Plastex Extruders Inc launches a US subsidiary of Canadian strapping business.

1983

David O’Sullivan, second generation, joins company as managing director.

1985

March

Plastex Extruders expands and moves to current UK site, Russell Gardens in Wickford, Essex.

1987

Peter O’Sullivan, sales director, joins company.

1990

Launch Frontrunner, our integrated entrance matting system.

1993

Achieved ISO 9002:2008 certification.

1998

Second matting production site opens in Fort Payne, Alabama – Plastex Matting Inc.

2016

Gemma O’Sullivan, third generation, joins.

2018

Achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification.