February has brought substantial price increases for three curbside commodities: PET containers, aluminum cans and polypropylene.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars moved up again this month, this time by 33%. The price is now averaging 26.88 cents per pound, compared with 20.22 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 33.00 cents per pound. PET was trading at 8.63 cents one year ago.
The national average price for sorted, baled used beverage cans (UBCs) moved up another 14% this month, now at 99.19 cents per pound, compared with 86.75 cents last month. This material was trading at an average 53.31 cents per pound this time last year.
Meanwhile, post-consumer polypropylene is up 19%, now 22.63 cents per pound, compared with 18.94 cents last month. PP was 18.44 cents one year ago.
On the other hand, both HDPE grades have seen prices fall this month.
The national average for natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is down nearly 3%, now at an average 54.56 cents per pound. This compares to 56.13 cents last month. The price was 70.25 cents this time last year.
Color HDPE dropped by 9% and is now trading at 19.50 cents per pound, compared with 21.50 cents last month. This grade averaged 18.91 cents one year ago.
Other curbside grades have shown less price movement.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is down marginally this month, now trading at an average $134 per ton, compared to an average $136 last month. OCC was trading for about $75 per ton this time last year.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) remain steady, still averaging $92 per ton. This compares to $43 per ton one year ago.
Mixed paper (PS 54) is down slightly, from an average $70 per ton last month to the current $68. This grade was $31.56 per ton this time last year.
Sorted office papers (PS 37) are up 8%, now trading for about $191 per ton, compared with $177 last month and an average $93 one year ago.
The national average price of Grade A film remains unchanged at 20.50 cents. This grade was trading at 11.13 cents one year ago.
Grade B film is also unchanged at 7.25 cents, compared with 4.38 one year ago.
Grade C film is still averaging 0.81 cents per pound.
Steel cans remain steady at an average $270 per ton. This compares to a low of $80 per ton this time last year.
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.