Plastics Recycling Update

Curbside plastic container prices show stability

Prices for post-consumer PET and HDPE containers have remained relatively steady lately, though film values have declined.

The current national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars sits at 15.21 cents per pound. This represents a 2 percent drop since early September, when the average was 15.58 cents per pound.

One year ago, this common curbside grade was trading at 9.87 cents per pound, 54 percent lower than current levels.

HDPE grades remain steady. The current national average for post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is now 29.94 cents per pound, a 1 percent drop over last month.

Color HDPE has risen 1 percent since early September to 15.47 cents per pound. Color HDPE was trading 42 percent higher seven months ago, at an average of 21.94 cents per pound nationally.

Post-consumer film prices continue to drop. The national average for Grade A film is currently 12.38 cents per pound, 12 percent lower than last month’s national average price of 14.00 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading in the 17.00 cents per pound range.

These prices are as reported on the Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Index. This pricing represents what is being paid for post-consumer recyclable materials in a sorted, baled format, picked up at most major recycling centers.

For a free trial to SMP’s Online Post-Consumer Pricing Index, visit the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at or 330-956-8911.

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