Recycling prices and market commentary: 2 August 2019

HDPE bottles recycling
HDPE bottles baled for recycling

The market for recycled goods was relatively quiet this week now that we are properly into holiday season.

However, the plastic PRN/PERN continues to act like a “fidgeting child” as one market participant described it. They meant that the price is all over the place and can’t seem to settle and remain calm for a while.


With it up again this week, this helped to push up the price of film grades a touch.

Paper grades saw slight falls as demand faded.

Metals were largely unchanged apart from stainless steel.

You might have expected the weaker pound at $1.21 compared to $1.24 last week, and €1.09 from €1.11 last week, to have an impact. But it didn’t due to demand not really being there for material from Europe or deep sea destinations.

Recycled plastics

With the plastic PRN/PERN rising by £30 per tonne, you might have expected the physical price to increase by the same amount.

But this didn’t happen.

This can partly be explained by demand falling due to it being holiday season. There aren’t as many traders in the market, and Europe is largely on holiday now.

But there is also resistance to paying high prices for physical material.

Bottle prices are already seen to be high at a time when demand is slightly easing.

With film, it has been described as a two tier market. Large companies are able to attract high prices for their material, due to selling large volumes. Above £500 per tonne is normal for 98/2. Smaller operators with a load or two per month, are not getting quite so much interest. They are receiving low-£400s on the whole.

European buyers of film, if not on holiday, are also happy to pay higher prices, but UK buyers are continuing to be resistant to an ever increasing market.

This week also saw news that Vietnam plans to ban some plastic imports by 2022.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2512-518500-506

Recycled paper

Trading volumes were relatively low this week, despite the beneficial exchange rate for exports.

While there were orders for China for OCC at higher prices (£70 to £75 typically), there wasn’t lots of demand. Orders to elsewhere also appeared to ease off, with some quoting low £60s.

This can be partly explained by it being August holiday season, but Asian destinations still have low demand.

Mixed paper also dropped a touch, with European demand easing off due to some buyers there being away.

This week also saw news that Vietnam plans to ban mixed paper by 2022.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Prices were steady for metals this week. However, stainless steel grades were up by £50 and lead by £100 per tonne.

Cans were unchanged.

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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