Plastics Recycling Update

Prices stabilize for PET and HDPE bales

Plastics Recycling MarketsAfter steadily rising this year, prices for several grades of post-consumer plastic seem to have plateaued this month.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars remained stable over the last month, now sitting at an average 25.56 cents per pound, compared to 25.31 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 30.00 cents per pound. One year ago, PET was trading at 6.50 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs also stayed basically flat from August to September, currently trading at an average 108.44 cents per pound. Several regions are reporting prices around 110.00 cents per pound.  The average price for natural HDPE was roughly 55 cents per pound one year ago.

Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE is 58.13 cents per pound, up slightly from its 58.00 level in August. This is far above where the resin’s pricing sat a year ago, when it was averaging to 8.63 cents per pound nationally.

The national average price of polypropylene dropped 13% month-over-month, to 33.16 cents per pound. It was 5.25 cents one year ago.

The national average price of Grade A film remained flat, now trading at 20.38 cents per pound. Grade B film is also steady at 7.56 cents. Grade C film is averaging 0.88 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 or 330-956-8911.


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