Prices for natural HDPE bales have increased over the past month, but markets for other recovered plastics have been relatively flat. Mixed-plastic bales continue to trade at record low prices.
The current national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars is 13.83 cents per pound. Over the past 12 months, the highest point reached was July 31, when this grade was trading 13 percent higher, at 15.93 cents per pound. By comparison, in February 2017 it was 21 percent lower, trading at 11.41 cents per pound. Two years ago, the national average was 61 percent lower than today, at 8.57 cents per pound.
The only significant upward movement in the post-consumer plastics markets is with natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs. Early February trends indicate a 5 percent national average price increase, from 29.97 cents per pound in January to the current 31.56 cents per pound. Meanwhile, color HDPE remains at 14.84 cents per pound, compared to early December 2017, when the national average price was 15.38 cents per pound.
Commingled grades (Nos. 3-7) are still trading under 1 cent per pound, currently at an all-time average low of 0.63 cents per pound.
Post-consumer film prices remain unchanged since early December. The national average price for Grade A film is currently 11.31 cents per pound. This grade was trading 34 percent higher one year ago, when the national average was 17.13 cents per pound. Grade B film remains unchanged at 4.06 cents per pound, while Grade C film is still trading at a low 1.38 cents per pound.
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 the Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Online Post-Consumer Plastics Pricing Index, visit the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or 330-956-8911.