Recycling prices and market commentary: 29 July 2022

LDPE film

This week saw big price drops for plastic packaging grades, with some key paper grades also dropping in value.

With the publication of Q2 data from NPWD, this meant changes were seen for plastics in particular, with its value dropping as a result. But also underlying prices were also coming down.


OCC and mixed both dropped too, in a week that seemed to be setting a benchmark for August.

However, metals were different seeing price rises for most non-ferrous grades.

The pound was up against the dollar to $1.21 from $1.19 last week, and against the euro strengthened to €1.19 from €1.17 a week ago.

Plastic recycling

Following the publication of the Q2 data from NPWD, the PRN/PERN price dropped from around £250 a week ago to £185 by the end of play yesterday.

This meant packaging grades dropped off by at least that amount. But with underlying values also falling for film, it meant that LDPE grades lost a further £5 or so on top of this.

The expectation for upcoming weeks is that plastic prices will continue to come down at least on an underlying basis, but of course much will depend on whether the PRN/PERN price sticks at this level, falls further or rises if sentiment changes.

As we enter into August and much of Europe is on holiday, the market is expected to be relatively quiet but lower trading volumes can also lead to more volatility in terms of pricing.

Forecast prices

LDPE 98/2661-667666-672

Recycled paper

This past week saw dropping prices for OCC and mixed in particular. At one point yesterday, prices were coming down so fast, that some were getting higher offers for mixed than they were receiving for OCC. But eventually the market settled to a level where people seemed to know where they were.

OCC was trading anywhere between £90 and £150 depending on quality, collection location and destination, but in reality most of the market seemed to be in the £110 to £120 bracket.

Mixed was being reported anywhere between £80 and £105-ish, but again most of the market was somewhere close to £100 per tonne.

Even though the PRN/PERN was up by a further couple of quid on last week, that wasn’t enough to support a market that was seeing strong downward pressure in pricing.

So where next for these grades? Most seemed to be trading for August this week, so it seems the market will be quiet for the next few weeks, especially with European mills likely to cut back on orders. The question that is now on people’s minds is what will September look like, and there is a wide range of opinions. Most expect the market to come down further over the coming weeks into September, but some are predicting that continued low arisings and the traditional pre-Christmas buying period will see a small adjustment back up.

Other grades were stable.

Forecast prices


Recycled metals

Non-ferrous metals saw gains this week. Copper was up £325 per tonne, and brass and aluminium by £50 per tonne. Stainless steel grades also increased 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