Recycling prices and market commentary: 16 August 2019

HDPE bottles recycling
HDPE bottles baled for recycling

Plastic volatility continues to affect the market, despite the summer slowdown.

With the plastic PRN/PERN price all over the place in the last week, it finally settled lower than the week before. This helped to push down the physical price too. More on this below.


Paper grades were quiet, with less demand for OCC also pushing down its price. More on this in the paper section below.

Industrial metals copper and aluminium gained a touch following increases on the LME.

Overall, it is mid-August and many people across UK and Europe in particular are on holiday. This is making trading volumes low and the market quiet.

Currency markets-wise, the pound was stable against the dollar at $1.21. Against the euro, the pound gained to €1.09 compared to €1.08 a week ago.

Recycled plastics

As mentioned above, it was the story of plastic volatility caused by the PRN/PERN again this week. From last week’s £375 per tonne, it surged briefly on Friday to reach £450 per tonne.

However, it then settled back to £350 per tonne by the time of writing.

The overall effect of this was to push the physical price of packaging grades down.

PET bottles and HDPE bottles both fell by £40 to £360 per tonne and £610 per tonne respectively.

LDPE 98/2 dropped by £25 only due to still strong demand from Europe. The past few weeks has seen a split market for film, with UK buyers resistant to paying the top prices that are being seen in Europe. When they need the material, UK buyers are able to get it though even at a lower price.

The price range for 98/2 is currently a huge £450 to £540 per tonne.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2494-500494-500

Recycled paper

It was a very quiet week in the paper market, with no change recorded for most grades.

With many people on holiday, there isn’t much trading taking place. Indeed, with the general public also on holiday, arisings are low too.

One grade that did change price was OCC. While those at the top of the market were still paying low- to mid-£70s, the bottom of the market dropped to mid-£50s. This caused the overall price to fall.

There is still some hope that things will improve a touch in September.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper and aluminium grades were up £50 per tonne this week on the back of rises on the LME.

Other industrial grades remained the same.

Can prices also saw no change, but with aluminium rising on the LME in recent weeks, aluminium cans might start to increase in value in the coming weeks if this pattern continues.

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

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