Recycling prices and market commentary: 13 January 2023

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

The uncertain market is still edging its way into 2023 with participants still trying to work out which way things are headed.

In truth, there isn’t a lot of material around either, and this means trading has been limited.


One exception is metals where hopes of a Chinese economic rebound have pushed up virgin and scrap prices on the global markets.

There are some signs that the PRN/PERN market is coming back for paper and plastic for the 2023 compliance year, but other grades aren’t really trading much.

The dollar was at $1.21 against the pound this week, down a little from $1.22 last week. Compared to the euro it was also down a little more to €1.12 from €1.13 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

The recycled plastics market is struggling to come back to life after the Christmas break and not a lot of material is available or being traded.

Those grades that are being traded, are typically at similar prices to those seen at the end of last year.

Plastic buyers are well-stocked having bought at the end of last year, and don’t want to risk overpaying for material unless they really need it.

However, the PRN/PERN has seen a bit of activity and this fell by around £10 per tonne, which was reflected in bottle, but not film, grades.

Recycled paper

Some exporters were paying between £115 and £120 per tonne for OCC this week, but this wasn’t necessarily reflective of the whole market.

Most were either side of £110 and this was typically UK domestic, South East Asia, Turkey and India was briefly back into the market. European demand remains very quiet.

There were no other changes on other grades.

Recycled metal

Speculation that there is an economic recovery in China has led to increased prices for metals. Copper was up by £450 per tonne, brass by £350 per tonne and aluminium by £50 per tonne.

Ferrous grades also saw a big jump increasing by £45 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