Recycling prices and market commentary: 22 July 2022


It was another week of gradually easing prices for many key grades with the same pattern expected over the summer.

Plastic packaging grades all eased back despite a stable PRN/PERN. For paper and cardboard, OCC and mixed came off a touch, but higher grades continued to have strong demand.


With the exception of ferrous, most metals also lost value.

Against the dollar, the pound was a little stronger at $1.19 compared to $1.18 a week ago. Compared to the euro it was stable at €1.17.

Recycled plastics

The underlying price of packaging grades came down again this week with bottles and LDPE film all losing £10 per tonne.

European demand is weaker, as we enter the holiday season, and they are well stocked. UK buyers have followed by reducing prices too.

The coming weeks are expected to be quiet in the market, but the expectation is that prices will have continued to weaken until at least September.

Oil prices have dropped recently, and if this puts lower pressure on virgin plastics, then this could mean lower secondary values. Of course, short supply of recycled plastics has meant some grades are attracting higher prices than virgin. But the oil price has the potential to be volatile, so there could be twists and turns in the recycled polymer market yet.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2774-780770-776

Recycled paper

There were two sets of prices for OCC and mixed this week. For those who still had orders for July, OCC was anywhere between £130 and £140 typically and mixed was around £120 to £130.

But for those looking ahead to August, the OCC market was more in the region of £120 to £130 and mixed £105 to £115. Obviously, it looks like August will mean lower prices again based on where trades are at now.

The question now is whether the market will settle at a price level, or will it just keep easing down.

For packaging grades, the PRN/PERN has also gradually crept up, and the Q2 data is being eagerly awaited to see whether arisings have been as low as many have believed they are. If they have been and targets look harder to meet, the PRN/PERN might rise. It will be interesting to see if this is passed on or retained if it does.

These falling prices were not seen with newsprint grades, and SOW and multi which continue to have strong demand and are seeing high prices.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Copper and aluminium grades were down by £50 per tonne this week – a lot less than the recent big falls seen, but still a declining market.

However, stainless steel were up £50 per tonne, and ferrous grades by £10 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