The UK has a long-established line of Paper Industry organisations, which started in 1872 with the inauguration of The Paper Makers’ Association of England Wales, Scotland & Ireland (PMA). The PMA discussed formation of a technical grouping as early as 1915, but it was not until the AGM of February 1920 that the proposal to form a Technical Section was proposed and ratified. To quote directly from a contemporary document:
“The basis then adopted was of the widest possible nature and was intended to secure the co-operation not only of the chemist and engineer filled with the restless spirit investigation, but also of all interested in the trade who sympathise with the scientific outlook and scientific habit of mind, whether papermakers, administrative officials or members of allied industries.”
The PMA became the British Paper & Board Makers Association (BPBMA) in 1949, then the British Paper & Board Industry Federation (BPBIF) in 1974. Meanwhile the Technical Section transformed into the Technical Division of the BPBIF in 1975, before becoming the Paper Industry Technical Association (PITA) in 1982.
PITA looks forward to celebrating its Centenary in 2020 – an achievement which follows that of Zellcheming (Germany, 2005), OZEPA (Austria, 2012), PI (Finland, 2014), PTF (Norway, 2014), PAPTAC (Canada, 2015) and TAPPI (USA, 2015).