Recycling prices and market commentary: 27 January 2023

Cardboard OCC
Cardboard OCC in a bale

The last full week of the 2022 compliance year brought about a significant change for plastic PRN/PERNs and a small change for paper.

It is now being questioned whether this was a wobble brought about by buyers chucking out cheeky prices for plastics ahead of the new compliance year with December PRN/PERNs or whether this is a benchmark for the rest of the year.


For paper, the fall wasn’t quite as dramatic, and the market actually reacted differently to what happened for the plastic market.

The pound was stable at $1.23 this week, but was down slightly to €1.13 from €1.14 last week.

Recycled plastics

As mentioned above, the PRN/PERN came down this week, dropping by £95 on last week.

This had a big impact on pricing, although trading was subdued as people waited to see where the PRN/PERN and the price of packaging grades would settle.

Bottles dropped by an equivalent amount to the PRN/PERN where trading took place, while weaker demand hit film grades and they lost around £100 per tonne.

Looking ahead to next week and beyond, many are wondering whether this is a temporary blip for the PRN/PERN as we come to the end of the 2022 compliance year. Or will the new compliance year start at a lower value?

Recycled paper

Although much trading of the PRN/PERN was at the same value as last week, there was some trading coming through that was a bit lower towards the end of this week. Again, this could just be December PRN/PERNs coming through, but many are wondering where the 2023 levels will be from next week onwards.

In terms of the underlying market, there was more demand coming from deep sea destinations for OCC and mixed that helped to push the price up. Some were able to get around £130 for OCC although most of the market was lower than this. High prices up to £70 for mixed were being talked about, but again most were quite a bit below this.

None of this was coming from Europe, which just isn’t in the market at all currently.

Recycled metals

Copper increased by £50 per tonne and aluminium was up by £100 per tonne. However, brass grades dropped by £50 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