200 jobs at risk at major Welsh employer ahead of upcoming plastics ban

No caption
-Credit: (Image: publicity picture)

Around 200 jobs in Wales are under threat following plans to shut down a wet wipes factory. Its owners, Kimberly-Clark, said the decision is due to an upcoming UK plastics ban. The UK Government, along with the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland, have decided to prohibit the sale of baby wipes containing plastic from mid-2026.

These products often end up as litter on Britain's beaches and degrade into microplastics, posing a threat to water quality and ecosystems. However, Kimberly-Clark has indicated that their Flint plant cannot be reconfigured in time to meet the deadline, reports North Wales Live.

The company is now in talks about potentially closing the site, which would remain operational until 2025 if the plans go ahead. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter.

READ MORE: Woman in intensive care abroad after falling ill while on holiday with boyfriend

READ MORE: Investigator looking for Jay Slater wants to speak to two men he stayed with

A spokesperson for Kimberly-Clark said: "Following the official announcement by the UK Government to ban the sale of wet wipes containing plastic, we are consulting on the proposed closure of our manufacturing operations at Flint, North Wales, in 2025."

They added: "Phasing out plastics from our baby wipes has long been part of K-C's sustainability plans and we have already removed a significant amount of plastic from them. Most of our baby wipes use a proprietary technology with 70% natural fibres and 30% plastic added to provide the necessary strength to clean and care for babies' skin properly.

"However, we're unable to meet the UK Government's deadline of mid-2026 as it significantly limits our ability to adapt our consumer manufacturing processes in Flint in time, which means it may no longer be viable to keep our consumer and B2B sites operational."

"Decisions that involve our employees are the hardest to make and we know it is a challenging period for our team. Supporting them through this complex situation is our top priority. Should the site closure proposal go ahead, we will keep the Flint site operational into 2025, and will continue to work closely with our customers and retailers on transition plans for affected products."