Plastics Recycling MarketsBales of curbside plastics have experienced notable price increases this month, with natural HDPE again hitting a record high.

The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars keeps moving up and is currently at 10.14 cents per pound. That compares with 8.63 cents per pound this time last month. One year ago, the national average was 10.47 cents per pound. 

The price of PET thermoforms in California has also continued to increase this year. The regional average is currently 9.63 cents per pound, up from 9.13 cents per pound in February and 7.25 cents in January. 

The average price for natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) continues to reach new highs. The plastic is now averaging 77.25 cents per pound nationally. This compares with 70.25 cents last month. Many regions are reporting prices currently reaching 82.00 cents per pound. The price was 37.13 cents one year ago.

This is the second price run-up natural HDPE has experienced over the past year. In late 2019, the price increased until it hit nearly 60 cents a pound in January 2020 before falling again last spring. It has been consistently rising each month since July 2020, hitting new records. 

Color HDPE is also up again this month, now trading at 23.63 cents per pound, up from 18.91 cents last month. This compares to 7.38 cents one year ago.

Polypropylene also continues to increase in price. It is now at 28.34 cents per pound, compared with 18.44 cents last month and an average low of 5.69 cents per pound one year ago.

The national average price of Grade A film is up 23%, now at 13.69 cents, compared with 11.13 cents per pound last month. Grade B film is now 5.13 cents, up from 4.38 cents per pound last month, while Grade C film remains a low 0.88 cents.

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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