Recycling prices and market commentary: 28 October 2022

Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling
Bales of OCC cardboard for recycling

There was a surprise rise for OCC this week, while a rising PRN/PERN helped to push up plastic packaging.

After weeks of price falls, some key packaging grades jumped up as trade took place for November. But the market remains uncertain, so traders are left wondering whether these price rises are here to stay, will go further, or whether it was just a temporary effect.


There were also changes in the PRN/PERN market following the publication of the Q3 results. This is also having an impact on price, with paper, plastic and wood all rising. Aluminium dropped back considerably however. Glass grades and steel saw no change this week.

In terms of foreign exchange, the currency markets saw more stability in the UK Government, which meant the pound was trading at $1.15 at the time of writing, up from $1.11 last week. The pound also rebounded against the euro from €1.14 last week to €1.16 when this report was being produced.

Recycled plastics

Following the publication of the Q3 data from the NPWD, the PRN/PERN went up to around £380 this week.

Meeting target looks really tight, and uncertainty is being created as two very large producers don’t seem to have registered in the system as yet – a reminder that there is just one month left until the transitional period begins.

This uncertainty drove the price of the PRN/PERN up and this had an impact on physical grades.

However, slower demand meant that not all of this rise was taken up by added value on the physical price. Bottle grades saw a £30 increase on last week and LDPE film by £40.

There are warnings that finished plastic goods demand appears to be getting weaker though, especially with UK and European consumer spending dropping as people try to ensure they have enough money to pay their winter fuel bills.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2668-674664-670

Recycled paper

OCC prices saw a sharp and unexpected jump in value this week. Asian buyers appeared to be driving it, with some, but not many European mills responding. UK mills didn’t get involved.

There is a view that it could just be a smash and grab for some Asian buyers and they’ll be out of the market soon enough. But if they continue to buy over the next few weeks, then will European mills respond?

Arisings seem to be low globally and some mills appear to require some building of stocks. An increase in the value of the PRN/PERN also helped.

Mixed responded a little, but if high OCC prices are sustained, it may drag up this grade. News & pams responded and gained due to more demand.

In terms of the PRN/PERN, the Q3 data suggested that compliance should be achieved for paper. However, the general PRN/PERN pot is looking short by around half a million tonnes, and with wood having already met target for 2022, both paper and wood are the cheapest grades on the market. This means compliance schemes are looking at paper and wood to fill the general obligation, and this is keeping the value of these PRN/PERNs high.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Brass grades increased by £50 per tonne this week, while lead dropped by £200 per tonne. Ferrous grades lost £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