Recycling prices and market commentary: 6 October 2023

LDPE film

This was a week of looking to the future, sticking fingers in the wind to try and find out which way the market is blowing.

Some see reasons to be optimistic that the market is on the up, but others see economic headwinds and tough times ahead. Others see no movement at all or are waiting to see what indeed happens.


There was some hope that as we entered October, it would give a better indication of where the market is headed. Perhaps, the rest of the year will be about small changes if this is the benchmark, but some now see November guiding where we are headed.

Where there was trading, and it was still generally reported as being quiet, there was some uplift for some paper and plastic grades. Metals were largely stable apart from copper.

The dollar was down to $1.21 from $1.22 a week ago. The euro was unchanged at €1.15.

Recycled plastics

Some grades saw price rises this week – typically on the back of more interest from deep sea destinations and Turkey.

HDPE milk bottles benefitted from heading towards winter and more hot drinks leading to more demand and the value of these was up.

But other grades such as LDPE film and PP gained a little on buyers in places like Malaysia, Vietnam and Turkey wanting material. It is also the case that some UK exporters are looking at notifiable destinations with European demand so weak.

Indeed, PET is still struggling to find people wanting it and prices remain subdued.

Recycled paper

A lot of material was traded last week for October and this was a quiet week as a result.

Mixed though had enough demand to help push the price up by £5 per tonne, but other grades were generally stable.

The outlook for the rest of the month is expected to be people fulfilling orders rather than new trading.

Any demand still seems to be coming from Asia with European markets either not interested or making offers well below what others are prepared to pay. There is no sign of them coming back yet either, especially as Asian buyers are also snapping up excess material because it is cheaper than UK and US.

Recycled metals

Copper grades dropped by £75 per tonne this week, but other grades were stable.

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