Curbside high-density polyethylene scrap prices continue to play the limbo game, with each month bringing even lower prices than the last.Plastics Recycling Markets

The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs plummeted again this month and is now at 22.88 cents per pound. This compares with 40.94 cents last month and 45.50 cents this time last year.

Color HDPE also dropped this month. This grade is now averaging 5.69 cents per pound, compared with 9.31 cents last month and 11.88 cents one year ago. Both natural and color HDPE have been falling since May, when they were nearly 75.00 cents and 16.00 cents, respectively. 

Also down is polypropylene (PP), which dropped from 7.56 cents per pound in July to 5.06 cents per pound this month. PP was 16.13 cents one year ago.

PET beverage bottles and jars are down marginally in August, now averaging 6.34 cents per pound, compared to 7.06 cents per pound this time last month. Some regional contracts are still yielding as high as 10.00 cents per pound, with the open market yielding only 2.00 cents to 4.00 cents per pound. This grade was trading at 10.31 cents one year ago.

Grade A film prices have dropped from 17.13 cents to 15.31 cents per pound. This material traded at 22.69 cents one year ago. 

Grade B film is steady at 7.13 cents. It was 8.31 cents 12 months ago. 

Finally, 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 at [email protected] or call 330-956-8911.