Plastic-free wipes already dominate the UK market – we’re ready for the ban on plastic wipes!

Earlier this week the UK government announced plans to ban plastic in wet wipes as part of plans to address water pollution. Nice-Pak welcome this move and are already 90 per cent plastic-free as a result of significant efforts and investment over many years. Furthermore, we question outdated statistics used in the media and believe that the solution lies in correct disposal.

See below supporting press release:

Plastic-free wipes already dominate the UK market says leading manufacturer and hit back at outdated claims that 90 per cent of wipes contain plastic

Claims that 90 per cent of wet wipes contain plastic are outdated and untrue, say a leading wet wipe manufacturer.

Nice-Pak International, which produces a range of wet wipes on behalf of global brands and retailers, asserts that its UK output is already 90 per cent free of plastic.

The company, which has factories in Wigan and Flint, has made a significant investment and determined effort to switch to plastic-free materials.

Supplying baby, household, skincare and moist toilet tissue wipes, Nice-Pak has seen its UK plastic-free production grow from 9 per cent to 90 per cent in just five years across all of these categories.

Commercial director Ian Anderson said: “We welcome the government’s ban on plastic wipes. However, having heard for so long that ‘90 per cent of wet wipes contain plastic’, I have to say this is simply not true.

“It is an outdated statistic which conveniently overlooks the huge efforts we have made in the last five years to phase out plastic fibres and replace them with fully sustainable materials from natural sources.”

Baby wipes represent the largest wipes category in the UK at 229m packs according to Kantar*, well over half of which are manufactured by Nice-Pak.

Ian added: “Looking beyond our own production figures at the wider market, our latest analysis shows that three quarters of baby wipe products on UK shelves are now plastic-free**.

“Combining this with our own numbers, it is clear that the 90 per cent plastic figure is a fallacy.

“We are fully prepared to support a ban on plastic wipes since we have already done the hard work and expect to be completely plastic-free in the very near future.

“With a final push from a few remaining brands and certain parts of the variety discount sector, a 100 per cent plastic-free scenario is entirely achievable in the short term.”


Ian also believes the real future challenge lies in correct disposal rather than plastic content.

He said: “Plastic-free does not mean that products can be flushed. We have worked tirelessly with our clients to ensure that correct labelling is used.

“Regardless of whether the wipe contains plastic or not, it should be disposed of appropriately.

“Only sustainable wipes which are also approved under the water industry’s own ‘Fine to Flush’ standard should be disposed of via the toilet.

“Everything else should go into the waste bin.  This distinction is clear on every pack that we sell as non-flushable wipes are routinely marked ‘Do Not Flush’.”

Sources: *Kantar Product % of Category Volume of baby market 52 week ended 25th December 2022  ** Recent audit across 13 retailers and discounters covering 58 baby wipe products, 44 of which were plastic-free.

Press articles:

See links to responsible disposal articles: