This story has been corrected.
Numbers for 2021 show some big beverage brands were ahead of the game when it comes to complying with California’s recycled-content law, including BlueTriton Brands, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo. Others remained far short of the targets set by the state.
A report from Independent Commodity Intelligence Services found that there’s not enough post-consumer resin in the U.S. market to meet California’s mandates, and there are more state mandates coming on-line soon.
All grades of commonly sorted curbside plastic experienced substantial price increases this month.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars moved up by 17% this month. The per-pound price is now averaging 39.22 cents, compared with 33.42 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 49.00 cents per pound. PET was trading at 12.03 cents one year ago.
Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is up 13%, now at an average 53.72 cents per pound. This compares with 47.47 cents last month. The price was 83.72 cents this time last year.
The national average price of color HDPE is up 12%, now trading at 28.94 cents per pound, compared with 25.75 cents last month. This grade averaged 31.94 cents one year ago.
Polypropylene (PP) is also selling for more money this month. The price is averaging 34.56 cents per pound, up 17% from last month’s average of 29.44 cents per pound. PP was 29.69 cents one year ago.
A couple of film grades are also experiencing rising values this month. The national average price of Grade A film is up 3%, at 21.13 cents per pound. This grade was trading at 15.63 cents one year ago.
Grade B film is now 7.44 cents, compared with 5.63 one year ago.
Grade C film is still averaging 0.81 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.
Post-consumer HDPE and PP prices have been hot lately, and they’re likely to stay that way given consistently strong demand and relatively slow supply increases, according to one market expert.