Recycling prices and market commentary: 26 May 2023


Ahead of the Bank Holiday Weekend, market participants seemed more interested in the sunny weather than trading.

This was more to do with the subdued markets though and a general slump across the market. Paper grades saw some price falls, while plastics responded to an increasing PRN/PERN value. Only copper changed for metals.


However, many hope that there will be more activity over the coming months.

Where there were price changes, it was generally more to do with activity on the PRN/PERN market with paper and plastics both increasing in value.

The pound was at $1.23 against the dollar, down a cent from a week ago. It remain unchanged with the euro at €1.14.

Recycled plastics

Markets for plastics grades remain subdued with demand weak for both domestic and export markets.

PET in particular continues to struggle with a lack of interest from European buyers in particular making it hard to shift this grade.

However, with the PRN/PERN value increasing, this helped packaging grades to increase in price, although the underlying price for HDPE and LDPE grades didn’t change. PET saw some increase, but this wasn’t the full amount due to the poor demand mentioned above.

Recycled paper

OCC and mixed lost value again this week, although there was some price support from the PRN/PERN that helped to prevent the drop going further.

While European and UK buyers were not taking a huge amount, other destinations such as India and South East Asia were ticking over rather than snapping up as much as they can. In a falling market, nobody wants to overpay ideally, so many are waiting to work out where the floor will be.

However, the fall in price was tempered to a degree by the increase in the PRN/PERN by a pound or two that took many by surprise. Many in the fibre recycling market reported receiving an email from the Environment Agency warning them not to set their own protocol for mixed paper, but to use the National Protocol of 34.5%. This set off the price increase as market participants speculated that it would be harder to meet compliance if less mixed PRNs/PERNs were being claimed.

Recycled metals

Only copper changed in value this week, dropping by £125 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