Plastics Recycling MarketsHDPE bale prices have continued to collapse from their record highs, with natural HDPE down 26% and color HDPE down 33% this month.

The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is now averaging 56.44 cents per pound, down 26% from the 76.31 cents reported last month. Natural HDPE prices have been falling since they hit a record high in September. The price was 63.00 cents this time last year and 23.00 cents five years ago.

Following natural, the national average price of color HDPE is down by one-third this month. The plastic grade is now trading at 26.63 cents per pound, compared with 39.81 cents last month. Color HDPE hit a record high price of 58.13 cents in September. This grade averaged 17.06 cents one year ago.

Another curbside polyolefin grade, polypropylene (PP), has also fallen steeply. PP is now at 18.94 cents per pound, compared with 23.25 cents last month, or down about 19%. PP was at 7.00 cents one year ago.

Other plastic grades have shown either smaller drops or are flat this month. 

PET beverage bottles and jars dropped by 5%. The price is now averaging 18.28 cents per pound, compared with 19.34 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 23.00 cents per pound, however. PET was trading at 6.55 cents one year ago and 10.35 cents five years ago. 

The national average price of Grade A film remains steady. It is now at 20.50 cents per pound, compared to 20.75 cents per pound last month and 9.44 cents one year ago. 

Grade B film is now at 7.25 cents per pound, compared to 7.38 last month. 

Grade C film is still 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 [email protected] or 330-956-8911.

Sorema Plastics Recycling Systems