Plastics Recycling Markets

Bales of PET continue to rise in value, while natural HDPE prices fall slightly but remain at a relatively high level.

The national average price of post-consumer PET bottles and jars continues on a steady trend, currently at 16.19 cents per pound. This represents a 3 percent increase over the past year, when the material traded nationally at 15.72 cents per pound in September 2017. This also represents a 20 percent recovery over the past nine months, when the national average trading price was 13.51 cents per pound in December 2017.

The price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs dropped slightly over the past month; however, the current national average price remains strong, at 38.25 cents per pound. This represents a 42 percent increase over the past year, when it was trading at 26.88 cents per pound in early September 2017.

Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE dropped 5 percent over the past month, from 14.44 cents per pound to the current 13.69 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade traded at the same level. It should be noted that color HDPE did rise significantly during that period, reaching 18.19 cents per pound nationally in April 2018 before gradually returning to the current levels over the past five months.

The national average price of post-consumer Grade A film is up 4 percent over the past month, now trading at 9.31 cents per pound. The current price is down 25 percent from one year ago, when it traded at 12.38 cents per pound. Meanwhile, Grade B film is trading at 2.63 cents per pound, while Grade C film remains at a nominal 1.44 cents per pound.

Commingled grades remain at nominal levels, with Nos. 1-7 trading nationally at 2.25 cents per pound, and Nos. 3-7 under a penny, at an all-time average low of 0.25 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 SMP’s Online Post-Consumer Pricing Index, visit the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or 330-956-8911.


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