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Data corner: The challenging economics of RPET

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RRS recently analyzed PET trends using pricing data and recovery rates from recyclingmarkets.net, NAPCOR and other sources.

The counterintuitive picture that emerges is that recycled PET (RPET) doesn’t follow normal supply and demand trends – higher bale prices do not drive more supply. There are two reasons for this market reality.

First, the price of recovered PET (both PET bales and RPET pellet) is more closely correlated with virgin PET pricing, which closely follows oil pricing, than with supply. Second, municipal recycling programs typically do not respond to price signals.

Changes in programs, policy and education take time and are generally driven by factors other than commodity value, such as environmental goals or other local priorities.

Data Corner is compiled monthly by recycling consultancy RRS.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.

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Data corner: Possibilities in municipal organics

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RRS recently worked with the Washington, D.C. Department of Public Works to research the feasibility of adding curbside compost collection to the municipality’s existing recycling program and identified several economic and environmental benefits.

High participation could be expected if carts were deployed universally, education materials were provided with the cart, and residents were given financial incentivizes to divert waste via a pay-as-you-throw or rewards program.

Data Corner is compiled monthly by recycling consultancy RRS.

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.

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