On February 26th, 1968, the official opening of the Rubber and Plastics Division of the Singapore Polytechnic was performed by Mr Low Guan Onn, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors and Technical Director of Jurong Shipyards. Dr FH Cotton, a Fellow of the (UK) Institution of the Rubber Industry (IRI), who had been invited to Singapore specifically to set up the new Division, siezed the opportunity of circulating those attending the opening ceremony, an invitation to join the IRI and to form a local section.

A petition to this effect was accepted by the IRI Council in London, and in 1968, the Singapore Section was established, with Mr JCJ Thwaites as its first Secretary. Up to 1973 the Section flourished and candidates had entered each year for the Licentiate examinations, but, for whatever reasons, the UK Council was eventually notified by a letter dated September 29th 1975, that the Section had been dissolved and the Registrar of Societies had gazetted this dissolution.

At the time of formation of the Plastics and Rubber Institute from the amalgamation of the IRI and the Plastics Institute (PI) on the 20th February 1975, the IRI had 238 members in Singapore and the PI had 56 - one would have considered this a solid base for progress; not dissolution.

In 1976, Mr George Chew, a former IRI Section Chairman, together with Dr Philip Adams, who had recently arrived in Singapore, took steps to contact the old members with a view to forming a new PRI Section. Only 9 members responded favourably and after many protem committee meetings the PRI Section was finally registered with the Registrar of Companies (as a branch of a UK company) in January 1979 and the first AGM was held in May under the Chairmanship of Mr Kam Foon Wing with Dr Adams as Honorary Secretary.

In 1983, the Section was re-registered as a Society with the Registrar of Societies and in 1996 the Plastics and Rubber Institute, Singapore, (PRIS) was again upgraded to an independent national body after the amalgamation of the PRI (UK) into the new Institute of Materials.

The Plastics and Rubber Institute (Singapore) is renamed The Plastics and Rubber Institute of Singapore in 2001 to reflect the Institution's statue in Singapore.