Plastics Recycling Update

PET, HDPE bale prices rise

Fall is bringing a rise in scrap plastics pricing, with both curbside PET and HDPE experiencing notable increases in November.Plastics Recycling Markets

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars is up again this month, now averaging 10.00 cents per pound, compared with 8.80 cents per pound last month. Some regional contracts are yielding as high as 13.00 to 14.00 cents per pound. This grade has now reached levels of one year ago, when it was trading at 10.10 cents per pound.

Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has also moved up. This key curbside grade is now at an average 26.97 cents per pound. This compares with 25.13 cents last month and 59.03 cents this time last year.

A much more substantial jump has taken place in pricing for color HDPE. This grade moved up 32% this month, now at an average 16.31 cents per pound. It was 12.38 cents last month and 9.00 cents one year ago.

Other plastic grades are largely unchanged. 

The national average price of post-consumer polypropylene (PP) remains unchanged at 5.06 cents per pound. PP was 5.38 cents one year ago.

Grade A film is still at 13.88 cents per pound. It traded at 17.81 cents one year ago.

Grade B film remains unchanged at 6.88 cents. 

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 call 330-956-8911.

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