Plastics Recycling Update

Prices for PET, HDPE begin to recover

Plastics Recycling MarketsAfter hitting some of their lowest prices in years, scrap PET and HDPE bale values have increased this month.

In August, post-consumer PET, natural HDPE and color HDPE scrap hit their lowest prices in years, squeezing plastics reclaimers

PET beverage bottles and jars are now averaging 7.41 cents per pound, compared with 6.34 cents per pound this time last month. Some regional contracts are still yielding as high as 10.00 cents per pound. This grade is now close to the levels seen one year ago, when it was trading at 7.53 cents per pound.

Rigid polyethylene grades are also rising. The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is now at an average 23.75 cents per pound. This compares with 22.88 cents last month and 39.50 cents this time last year.

Following it, color HDPE is also stronger this month, now at an average 9.91 cents per pound. Color HDPE sold for 5.69 cents last month and 6.16 cents one year ago.

For the most part, other plastics are stable this month.

The national average for polypropylene (PP) is 5.00 cents per pound, compared to 5.06 cents last month. PP was 8.31 cents one year ago.

Grade A film dropped from 15.31 to 14.75 cents per pound this month. It traded at 20.75 cents one year ago.

Grade B film is now at 6.88 cents, down from 7.13 cents last month.

Grade C film remains at a nominal 0.13 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 330-956-8911.

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