Market graph iconThe late-2022 rise in PET values has extended into the new year, with the recycled plastic grade seeing a 12% bump this month. 

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars is now averaging 12.02 cents per pound, compared with 10.75 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 14.00 cents per pound, with lows in the range of 11 to 12 cents. PET was trading at 20.22 cents one year ago.

PET prices have been rising since September 2022, when they hit a recent low of 7.53 cents.

For MRFs, the news isn’t as good in the realm of recovered fibers. The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) remains low, at an average of about $30 per ton. This compares with $136 per ton this time last year.

Mixed paper (PS 54) remains in minus territory, at negative $1 per ton. This compares with $76 per ton this time last year.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) pricing is level, around $23 per ton. This compares with $92 per ton one year ago.

Lastly for fibers, sorted office papers (PS 37) are now up $4 per ton, from $217 to 221 per ton, compared with an average of $177 one year ago.

For other grades of curbside plastics and metals, January hasn’t brought any significant changes.

Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is up marginally, now trading at an average of 61.59 cents per pound. This compares to 60.06 cents last month and 56.13 cents this time last year.

The national average price of color HDPE remains flat again this month. This grade is still at 9.00 cents per pound. Color HDPE averaged 21.50 cents one year ago.

Post-consumer polypropylene (PP) is also unchanged this month, trading at 5.38 cents per pound. PP was 18.94 cents one year ago.

High-grade film prices have dropped, but lower-quality grades have remained consistent month to month. The national average price of Grade A film is down again, now at 15.63 cents per pound, compared with 17.25 last month and 20.50 cents one year ago.

Grade B film is still 6.94 cents.

Grade C film remains at a low of 0.50 cents per pound.

Finally for metals, the national average for sorted, baled aluminum cans is unchanged at 65.00 cents per pound. This material was trading at an average 86.75 cents per pound this time last year.

Steel can prices remain constant this month at an average $156 per ton. The price was $270 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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