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Sellers of recyclable materials have continued to enjoy strong markets, with virtually all grades of curbside fiber, plastics and metals seeing value boosts from June to July.

Below is a commodity-by-commodity pricing rundown.

The national average price for old corrugated containers (PS 11) is up $20 per ton from June, now trading at a national average of $132 per ton.  By comparison, the OCC grade was trading in the $55 per ton range one year ago.

Sorted residential paper (PS 56) pricing is up 24% from June, now averaging $93 per ton, compared with $75 last month

Mixed paper (PS 54) is also up, from an average $55 last month to the current $74 per ton.  

Sorted office paper (PS 37) is now trading at $141 per ton, up 12% from June.

Turning to plastics, the national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars moved up again and is now at 23.55 cents per pound, compared with 21.47 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 27 cents per pound.

California premium PET bales are trading in the range of 35-38 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs continues to reach new highs, now at an average $1.06 per pound. This compares to $1.00 per pound last month.

Several regions are reporting prices currently in the $1.10 per pound range for natural HDPE. The price was around 36 cents per pound one year ago.

The national average price of color HDPE, meanwhile, is 56.78 cents per pound, up from 51.88 cents last month. This compares to 3.66 cents per pound this time last year.

The national average price of polypropylene (PP) post-consumer materials is now 39.24 cents per pound, compared with 35.38 cents last month. The resin’s national average was 3.69 cents per pound one year ago.

Learn more on our digital stage

Next month’s virtual Resource Recycling Conference will feature a one-on-one conversation about the future of recycled fiber markets with Marc Forman, president of Georgia-Pacific Recycling. Meanwhile, a separate discussion with Eadaoin Quinn, director of business development and procurement at EFS-plastics Inc., will cover recycled plastics markets. Find more about the 2021 conference and register today at

The national average price of Grade A film is up marginally, now at 18.81 cents per pound, compared to 18.06 cents per pound last month and 7.00 one year ago. Grade B film is now 7.50 cents per pound, up from 7.13 cents last month. Grade C film remains at 0.88 cents per pound.

On the metals side, the national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans increased to 71.13 cents per pound from 70.00 cents last month. This material was trading at an average 39.19 cents per pound this time last year.

Pricing for sorted, baled steel cans has remained constant month-to-month, at an average of $250 per ton. This compares to $79 per ton one year ago.

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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