Recycling prices and market commentary: 3 March 2023


There were strange things happening in the PRN/PERN market this week, with unexplainable price changes occurring.

Well, possibly the explanation was that it is early in the compliance year, and markets can be volatile.


For plastics, this had a definite impact on packaging grades. While OCC also saw a little adjustment, albeit demand also appears to be falling.

While copper and brass dropped, ferrous metals gained.

The pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.19. It was at €1.12 at the end of the week, and seems to be bouncing around the €1.12/€1.13 level at the moment.

Recycled plastic

With the PRN/PERN price dropping by around £75 per tonne this week, this caused motion for the physical material.

Why did the price of the PRN/PERN come down? There wasn’t an obvious explanation other than an early-year wobble. All eyes will now be on next week and what will happen then.

Bottle grades didn’t respond quite as strongly, as buyers and sellers waited to see the full impact, but prices did drop.

LDPE and PP saw deeper falls, albeit not by the same amount as the PRN/PERN drop.

Partly, these partial falls in the physical were down to some optimism that what goes down must go back up, and that the price fall had been too deep. But for others, it was a reflection that they wanted to see where prices are headed before committing to trades.

Recycled paper

Markets are generally pretty stable at the moment for the most part, although OCC keeps coming off a bit each week.

This week saw a couple of quid off the PRN/PERN price and that had an impact. But it is also the case that even though the market was quiet last week, it seems most have already done their March trading.

There doesn’t seem to be too much confidence in the market at the moment, but despite that, we haven’t seen the price movements that many have been predicting.

Although Europe still remains very quiet, other destinations seem to be topping up when they need to and are comfortable with current prices, especially with the recent PRN/PERN support. But no destination appears to be especially strong and leading the market at present.

Recycled metals

Ferrous grades increased by £20 per tonne this week – a rare increase across the recycling market this week. Copper thought was down by £150 per tonne, while brass fell by £200 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