Recycling prices and market commentary: 24 March 2023

Cardboard OCC
Cardboard OCC in a bale

OCC and plastic bottle grades both jumped up this week on the back of spring demand.

As we head towards April, there was bit more interest in these packaging grades, but it did not necessarily spread to others.


The PRN/PERN continues to bounce around across most grades and this continues to have a strong influence.

Compared to the dollar, the pound was at $1.22 this week, continuing its gain in recent weeks after being at $1.21 a week ago. However, after a gaining a cent last week, it lost it again compared to the euro to be back down to €1.13.

Recycled plastic

Both PET and HDPE bottles gained in value this week, helped by underlying demand and a more competitive landscape.

LDPE didn’t respond in the same way, remaining stable. PP came down though as there is a lot of supply availability in the market at present.

There was a PRN/PERN increase of about £15 per tonne, but this hadn’t influenced prices as yet as the market waits to see whether it will be sustained and set a benchmark.

As we come to the end of the first quarter of this compliance year, many are taking stock and deciding on their strategy for Q2, waiting for funds to come in from producers, or looking further ahead for the rest of this compliance year.

Recycled paper

The export market was the key driver for boosting OCC prices this week, buying for April at around £15 to £20 above last week’s market.

Deep sea in particular was behind this with good competition for low arisings helping to give the OCC price a lift. There are also some signs that European mills may be ready to re-enter the market in order to top-up existing stocks.

Domestic mills are not so active, especially as there has been some maintenance downtime at one or two.

Other grades have not yet responded to this change, remaining at the same levels as the week before.

Recycled metals

Copper and brass increased by £50 per tonne, but aluminium grades fell by the same amount.

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