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Business Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Aberdare manufacturer celebrates 35 years of supporting global tree planting

TODAY (May 12), Tubex, the UK’s leading tree shelter manufacturer, celebrates its 35th anniversary with Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf Wendy Treeby marking the occasion at the Aberdare-based plant.

Joined by Site Director Dean Latten and his team, the local Mayor was given a first-hand tour of the flagship plant, which produces hundreds of thousands of recyclable tree shelters every year.

Since opening its doors in 1987, the site has continued to grow with recent investment increasing production, helping Tubex protect millions of young tree saplings across the UK and globally, and boosting employment figures – with the plant now employing 68 specialist team members.

The site at Aberdare also plays a core role in Tubex’s Collection & Recycling programme – an innovative scheme which aims to close the loop and increase the usage of recycled materials in tree shelters to 100% in the next few years.

Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf Wendy Treeby said on the day: “It is my great honour to be invited here today to unveil a plaque celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Tubex at their Aberdare site.

“As an employer Tubex continues to offer local people an exciting and rewarding career path.

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“I would like to pay tribute to the Team at Aberdare for their commitment and dedication to manufacturing excellence, particularly those long-serving members of staff, many of whom have worked here for the better part of those 35 years.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed learning about Tubex’s manufacturing.  They are creators, innovators and industry pioneers in tree shelter solutions which help protect young trees not only in the UK but worldwide.”

Beth Winter, MP for Cynon Valley, honoured the occasion by saying: “I would like to congratulate Tubex and the team at their Aberdare site for reaching their 35th anniversary. As a local employer they have long made a vital economic contribution to both Aberdare and the wider Cynon Valley area, employing thousands of people over the years.

“Tubex’s lasting success demonstrates Cynon Valley’s attractiveness and our huge potential as an employment site for the environmental jobs of the future.”

Tree shelters are vital for saplings to grow to their full potential by providing protection from foraging animals and extreme British weather. Each shelter dramatically increases a sapling’s survival rate, in 2021 alone tree shelters were estimated to have saved 12.5m saplings, the equivalent of 14,600 football fields of new trees.

Over the past three decades, it is estimated 150 million tonnes of CO2 has been sequestered globally by trees protected with recyclable Tubex shelters. Tree shelters produced by Tubex are distributed across the country in a bid to support the UK’s government’s ambitious tree planting targets, and to meet private forestry demands driven by the spotlight on corporate sustainability agendas.

Dean Latten, Site Director at Aberdare, reflected on his 20 years with Tubex: “As a fresh-faced 18-year-old, I started as a Line Operator and have since worked my way up to become Site Director.

“My job has seen me travel around the world to showcase the vital role of tree shelters and introduce new production innovation to the Aberdare site. More recently, I’ve been focused on supporting my team while working through the pandemic.

“Starting from the bottom definitely helped me become the leader I am today. I’m extremely proud of my team and the work we do here.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the state-of-the-art site switched its efforts to produce vital materials for PPE for NHS workers across the UK. FFP3 masks produced by Medicom using Berry’s Synergex™, a unique single layer composite material, Berry helped to produce over 170 million FFP3 face masks to date.

Last year, Tubex launched its innovative bio-based, biodegradable Tubex Nature tree shelter range which can be left in situ by planters and will naturally biodegrade over time. The new range is the optimal choice for particularly dense or difficult access areas of woodland where the collection and recycling of tree shelters is more challenging.