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Curbside fiber prices may remain depressed, but values of aluminum cans and PET have increased notably this month.

The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans is up 15%, now at 75.00 cents per pound, compared with 65.00 cents last month. This material was trading at 99.00 cents per pound this time last year.

Meanwhile, the value of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars also increased again this month, by 9%. The price is now averaging 13.16 cents per pound, compared with 12.02 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 11.00 to 12.00 cents. PET was trading at 26.88 cents one year ago.

For most other materials, prices have remained relatively flat from January. 

In plastics, natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is at an average 62.03 cents per pound. This compares to 61.54 cents last month and 54.36 cents this time last year. 

Color HDPE also remains steady this month, at an average 9.27 cents per pound. This grade averaged 19.50 cents one year ago.

The national average for polypropylene (PP) is unchanged, trading at 5.38 cents per pound. PP was 22.63 cents one year ago.

The price of Grade A film held steady, at 15.63 cents per pound, unchanged from last month. The price was 20.50 cents one year ago. 

Grade B film is still 6.94 cents. 

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

Learn more in person

A session at the upcoming 2023 Plastics Recycling Conference (March 6-8 outside Washington, D.C.) will delve into the ways inflation, supply chain shifts and many other factors are affecting plastics markets. “Analysts on Market Trends,” set for March 6, will feature speakers from OPIS PCW, ICIS, Wood Mackenzie and Miller Recycling Associates. Check out the full session lineup and register today.

In fibers, the price for corrugated containers (PS 11) remains low, at about $31 per ton, roughly the same as in January. This compares to $134 per ton this time last year.

Mixed paper (PS 54) continues to have a nominal value, at around $1 per ton. This compares with  $68 per ton this time last year. 

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) is also level, around $24 per ton. This compares with $92 per ton one year ago. 

Lastly for fibers, sorted office papers (PS 37) are down marginally, from $221 to 216 per ton. This compares to an average $191 one year ago.

Finally, sorted, baled steel cans are up $20 per ton, now averaging $176 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 call 330-956-8911.


Buhler- Sortex N PolyVision