Recycling prices and market commentary: 12 August 2022

LDPE film

Summer trading can sometimes bring about strange pricing, and this was one of those weeks, especially for plastics.

With many people on holiday, and arisings of material generally low, different push and pull factors were trying to influence the market. Due to such low levels of trading, sometimes those influences could be significant.


Lack of volume brought about volatility for some grades, with plastic packaging also influenced by an increasing PRN/PERN price.

Mixed suffered in paper grades, but it was a different picture in metals as most grades here saw a price rise of some sort.

Against the dollar the pound was stable at $1.21, as it was compared to the euro at €1.18.

Recycled plastics

Following weakening prices from late-July but especially last week, the PRN/PERN price responded by increasing by around £40 per tonne this week putting its value at approximately £225 per tonne.

This helped to set off some of the underlying weakness in pricing, for PET bottles and HDPE bottles especially. Also note that US PET bottles have crashed in recent weeks from around $825 at the start of July to $225 now. Europe doesn’t seem to have followed this pattern yet.

LDPE was a strange one though. European processors saw falling prices and lack of trade and tried to push values down further and were able to buy at these much lower prices. But Turkish and Malaysian buyers were happy to come in at previous levels (and more) and were snapping up material that was available. Therefore, the market spread was wide for LDPE grades, with £150 difference being quoted for the lowest and highest prices depending on the end destination.

With the recent increase of the PRN/PERN, it will be interesting to see which way the scale balances out and whether those pushing for lower or higher prices will win out.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2640-646652-658

Recycled paper

Lack of European and Indian demand helped to push the value of mixed paper down this week, with it coming down to mid-£70s for most, but prices in the £50s were being talked about by some depending on quality, and need to sell.

Other grades were largely stable, with OCC benefitting from a £20 PRN/PERN price giving it a little more support.

Realistically though, there wasn’t a lot of trade in the market. There were some South East Asian orders for OCC, a bit going to UK and European mills, and some to India, but overall, it wasn’t a hugely active market.

Also worth watching is the US market, which has seen price falls in the last couple of weeks. It has been trading considerably cheaper than the UK for months anyway, but at lower prices than here, is likely to be of more interest to the Asian market.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper increased by £300 per tonne this week, while brass was up by £100 per tonne.

Ferrous grades also saw a decent jump, increasing by £35 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