Recovered fiber and aluminum prices have taken a beating over the past month, but a key plastic grade, PET, has shown stability.

The national average price for mixed paper (PS 54) has taken a serious drop to negative $2.50 per ton, down $7 per ton from a national average of $4.69 per ton last month.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) has also dropped over the past month. It is now at $27 per ton, compared with $31 per ton last month. This common grade traded at $56 per ton one year ago.

The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) dropped 16 percent since early January, from an average $70 per ton to the current $59-per-ton range. This compares with $105 per ton one year ago.

The national average price for baled aluminum cans is down again over last month, from 60.19 cents per pound to the current low of 56.19 cents per pound. This seasonal low average represents a significant drop from the high of 72.50 cents per pound one year ago.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars remains constant, at 15.20 cents per pound, compared to 15.10 cents per pound one month ago. At this time last year, PET was trading at 13.95 cents per pound. By comparison, the national average peaked at 17.11 cents per pound in June 2018.

Meanwhile, the price of natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) dropped 9 percent this month. The national average price is now 35.19 cents per pound, compared with 38.88 cents this time last month. This still represents a significant increase over one year ago, when the national average for this grade was 31.81 cents per pound.

The national average price of color HDPE is also down 10 percent this month, from 16.41 cents per pound early January to its current average of 14.75 cents per pound.

The national average price of polypropylene (PP) remains steady at 12.47 cents per pound, up significantly from one year ago, when it traded nationally at 8.38 cents per pound.

The national average price of all post-consumer film grades remains low. Grade A film is still trading in the 8.75-cents-per-pound range, compared with 11.31 cents per pound one year ago. Grade B film is trading at 2.59 cents per pound, and Grade C film remains at 1.44 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 the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or 330-956-8911.

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