Recycling market sentiment report: August 2018 to August 2019

Recycling rollercoaster
Are recycling prices headed up or down?

Those in the market know where recycling prices are headed best. They know where OCC, News & Pam, mixed paper, PET bottles, HDPE bottles, LDPE film, HDPE Regrind, PP Regrind, steel cans and aluminium cans are likely to be headed. Find out with the REB Market Intelligence monthly recycling market sentiment report below where they forecast prices to be.

This REB market sentiment report is a survey of key stakeholders in the recycling market of where they believe the market is headed in one month, three months and 12 months.


As a result, it is intended as a guide and Hanicke Robins Sanderson Limited cannot be held responsible for any commercial decisions made as a result of this information.

Uncertainty continues to grip the recycling market and that is reflected in the view of where recycling prices are headed in the coming months.

With countries such as China, Malaysia and Vietnam all set to introduce tougher regulations or outright bans, then the UK market is uncertain where material will go as a result. This means there is a general expectation that recycling prices are headed downwards.


Recycled plastics are expected to fall in price as the year goes on, especially as exports are likely to dry up to many destinations.

LDPE 98/2 is currently seeing an average price of £220 per tonne, according to the market, and this may fall as low as £190 per tonne over the next month. The market then forecasts it will stay there in three months time, but then pick up to return to £220 per tonne in 12 months.

PET bottles are currently averaging £249, respondents to the survey showed. This should fall to £242.50 throughout August, then down to £225 in three months time. In 12 months, the average price is expected to be £214.25.

HDPE bottles are averaging £453.50 and the recycling market expects them to drop a touch to £447.50 across August. In three months time, the market forecasts £440 per tonne and then £424 per tonne in a year.

There is a little more optimism for HDPE Regrind andPP Regrind though.

HDPE Regrind is averaging £540 per tonne at present, same as last month. This isn’t expected to change in a month or three months, but will ease back to £515 in 12 months.

PP Regrind is currently £525 per tonne and is expected to stay like that this month. Then in three months it will have dropped a touch to £520 and will stay like that in 12 months too.


As was the case last month, the market believes OCC and news & pam prices will ease over the next year, but mixed paper will rise.

OCC is currently averaging £124.50 per tonne, but the spread of prices given was anywhere between £70 and £165 depending on the quality and end destination. Over the month, the average price is expected to ease slightly to £122 per tonne. In three months, the average price may rise to £123.75 if the market is correct. However, in a year this is predicted to fall to £107.25.

News & pam is on average £121.16 at present. This is expected to drop to £116 over the next month, and then down to £111.50 in three months. However, in 12 months it is forecast by the market to have risen to £115.83.

Mixed paper is currently £50 on average, according to survey respondents. This is expected to drop to £45 over the month, but recover in three months to £47.50. By 12 months time, the price should have reached £55 if market forecasts are correct.


Steel can prices are averaging £165 per tonne according to those who answered the market sentiment survey. However, the outlook isn’t seen an positive, with an expectation they will drop to £155 over the month, then £147.50 in three months. By 12 months, the steel can price is forecast to have dropped to £130 per tonne.

The average price for aluminium cans is £986.66 at present. Over the next month this is expected to drop to £961.66. Then in three months and 12 months it is forecast to average £962.50.

Please note, there may be a discrepancy between the average current prices quoted here and our weekly prices. This is because we use a market assessment taking into account a range of factors to produce our weekly market price, while the price quoted here is just an average.  



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