Plastics Recycling MarketsPrices for natural HDPE bales have remained at record highs this month, but color HDPE bale prices have fallen. 

The price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs saw a slight increase, continuing a trend of record highs. The current national average price is 59.47 cents per pound, compared to 58.25 cents this time last month. In some regions, it is trading as high as 63.5 cents per pound. One year ago, the national average for this grade was 38.88 cents per pound.

Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE dropped 15 percent this month, now trading at 12.53 cents per pound, compared with 14.75 cents per pound last month. One year ago, this grade was trading at 16.41 cents per pound.

The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars moved up slightly again this month, from 10.29 cents per pound in mid-December to the current average trading price of 10.65 cents per pound. Nonetheless, this time last year, PET was trading much higher at an average of 15.11 cents per pound.

The national average price of polypropylene has dropped from 7.06 cents per pound in December to the current 5.81 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 12.50 cents per pound.

The national average price of Grade A film dropped marginally over the last month, from 8.69 cents per pound to its current level of 8.44 cents per pound. By comparison, this grade traded at 8.81 cents per pound one year ago. 

Grade B film remains unchanged at 4.56 cents per pound, and Grade C film is still a nominal 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 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.