Recycled prices and market commentary: 23 September 2022

Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

Key paper grades came down again this week but other materials were more stable.

Across the recycling market, there is a great deal of uncertainty caused by the energy crisis and a weakening global economy.


For the energy intensive paper and cardboard industry, mills are worried about the impact of this on their business, especially in an environment where reduced consumer spending will mean less use of finished goods potentially. This helped bring down OCC and mixed paper prices this week.

Some metal grades increased a little though, while others were down. Plastics were largely stable.

In terms of the pound, it was down to $1.10 at the time of writing, but was likely to be volatile today following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget statement. Last Friday it was trading at $1.11. Against the euro it was stable at €1.14.

Recycled plastics

Following the publication of the latest monthly data from NPWD, the plastic PRN/PERN actually increased in value despite the data looking more favourable.

At around £305, it was up from approximately £300 last week.

This didn’t have an impact on prices though, which were largely stable. This was partly because buyers and sellers were waiting to see how both the PRN/PERN and physical material market would settle.

There are fears that prices may come down over the coming months though, although some remain optimistic that there will remain strong demand for recycled plastics and this will keep prices high compared to previous historic patterns.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2624-630624-630

Recycled paper

Both OCC and mixed paper came down in value this week.

Despite slightly weaker data from the NPWD, the PRN/PERN price came down to below £20 per tonne and this reduced OCC in particular.

However, market demand was also lower, with some UK mills pushing down prices for both OCC and mixed. There wasn’t a huge amount of demand from other destinations, although many were waiting for next week to trade for October.

Where there was some demand, some good prices could still be achieved though, but these orders were sporadic at best.

Some are optimistic that low arisings will provide a floor for falling prices, especially in the supposedly busier pre-Christmas period. But others only see falling prices for the next month. More will become clear next week.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper was the only non-ferrous metal to rise this week, increasing by £50 per tonne. Ferrous grades though were down by £10 per tonne.

Recycling prices

For recycled paper prices, click here

For recycled plastic prices, click here

For recycled metal prices, click here

For recycled glass prices, click here

For PRN/PERN prices, click here