Plastics Recycling Update

Markets bring good news for recovered plastics

Plastics Recycling MarketsIn May, a number of key curbside plastics have continued to increase in value.

Post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs continues its upward trend. The current national average price is 37.50 cents per pound, up 5.6 percent since March 31. This new level is 42 percent higher than one year ago, when it was trading at 26.41 cents per pound early June 2017. It also equals the national average price of 37.50 cents per pound on June 10, 2016.

By contrast, the national average price of color HDPE has dropped to 15.94 cents per pound, down 12 percent from two weeks ago, when it had reached a high of 18.19 cents per pound late April. Two months ago, this grade traded at 15.50 cents per pound.

HDPE rigid materials are up 14 percent over the past two months. The national average reached 10.06 cents per pound early May, compared to earlier levels of 8.81 cents per pound. This represents a return to May 2017 levels, when HDPE rigid traded at 10.44 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars continues to edge up, now currently at 15.89 cents per pound. This is an increase of 15 percent over the past four months, when it traded nationally at 13.77 cents per pound in January 2018. This is a return to the national average of 15.70 cents per pound, eight months earlier in September 2017.

Meanwhile, the national average price of post-consumer Grade A film moved up 4 percent since early March, from 11.31 cents per pound to the current 11.72 cents per pound. Grade B film is trading at 3.74 cents per pound, while Grade C film is trading up slightly, from 1.38 to 1.44 cents per pound, a 4 percent increase.

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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