Plastics Recycling Update

Price plummet continues for key post-consumer resins

Plastics Recycling MarketsBale values for PET and HDPE processed by MRFs fell by double-digit percentages from June to July, the second straight month of major price decreases.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars is down 44%. Bales of PET are now averaging 7.06 cents per pound, compared with 12.63 cents per pound this time last month

Some regional PET bale contracts are still yielding as high as 10.00 to 11.00 cents per pound, but the open market is yielding only 2.00 to 4.00 cents per pound. This grade was trading at 37.50 cents one year ago.

Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is down 40%, now at an average 40.94 cents per pound. This compares with 68.75 cents last month and 45.50 cents this time last year.

Following natural downward, color HDPE dropped 28% this month. This grade is trading for an average 9.31 cents per pound, compared with 12.88 cents last month and 22.03 cents one year ago.

PET, natural HDPE and color HDPE have all been dropping since May, when they hit recent highs. But this month’s decline was much steeper than the May-to-June drop.  

Other plastics have been stable going into summer. Polypropylene (PP) is now trading at 7.56 cents per pound, compared to 7.69 cents last month. PP was 24.94 cents one year ago.

Grade A film remains steady at 17.13 cents per pound. It traded at 22.56 cents one year ago. 

Grade B film is also steady at 7.13 cents, compared to 8.19 cents last year. 

Grade C film remains at a nominal 0.19 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 You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at or call 330-956-8911.

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