The new year kicked off with good news for MRF operators, who saw OCC and mixed paper fetching higher prices and curbside plastic grades mostly holding steady. Market graph icon

The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is up again this month, from $80 in December to $87 per ton this month. This compares to $29 per ton this time last year. It’s the highest OCC prices have reached since falling sharply in September 2022.

Mixed paper (PS 54) is also up by $10 this month, and is now trading at $48 per ton. This compares to $0 per ton this time last year.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are up by $10, now trading at an average $61 per ton. This compares to $23 per ton one year ago.

Sorted office papers (PS 37) remain unchanged at $132 per ton. This compares to an average $221 per ton one year ago.

In the plastics space, grades had marginal or no movement in price.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars is up marginally this month, now averaging 11.47 cents per pound, compared to 11.02 cents per pound this time last month. Some regional contracts are still yielding 13 to 15 cents per pound. One year ago this grade was trading at 12.02 cents per pound.

Post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) dropped marginally, now at an average 28.50 cents per pound. This compares to 29.50 cents last month and 61.59 cents this time last year.

Color HDPE remained unchanged this month, now at an average 18.81 cents per pound. It was 9 cents one year ago.

Post-consumer polypropylene (PP) also remains unchanged at 4.94 cents per pound. PP was 5.38 cents one year ago.

The national average price of Grade A film remains unchanged at 13.88 cents per pound. It traded at 15.63 cents one year ago.

Grade B film remains unchanged at 6.88 cents.

Grade C film remains at a nominal 0.13 cents per pound.

Aluminum cans remain steady, at 61 cents per pound. These used beverage cans (UBCs) traded for 65 cents per pound this time last year.

Sorted, baled steel cans remain constant at $212 per ton. The price was $156 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.