Recycling prices and market commentary: 9 December 2022

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

For plastic grades, any price changes were largely driven by the PRN/PERN market this week, while the recovered fibre market saw OCC come down.

Markets are reported to be quiet across the board with supply and demand both poor. This is the case across global markets.


However, emerging news from China that it is relaxing its zero Covid policy has brought about hopes that this may benefit other nations too. There is hope that this will help global trade, mitigate inflation and provide support to the worldwide economy. Of course, the impact of this remains to be seen.

In terms of foreign exchange, the pound was stable at $1.22 against the dollar and the euro at €1.16.

Recycled plastics

Packaging grades saw an increase after a rise in the PRN/PERN value this week. Bottles had most to go up by taking the whole £25. Demand for both PET and HDPE has improved in recent weeks.

For LDPE film, the picture was slightly different. Demand was a bit weaker from European buyers, and while material was moving, the underlying price was a bit lower. But when the impact of the PRN/PERN was taken into account, there was still a price uplift of £10 per tonne.

It continues to be the case that the PRN/PERN is the main driver helping to keep prices up, when the underlying market is weak.

Recycled paper

OCC dropped by around £5 per tonne this week as South East Asian buyers pulled back on purchases.

There was some interest from elsewhere that helped to keep prices around the £130 mark, but overall there wasn’t a lot of strong demand or supply. Europe in particular remains not too keen on getting orders from the UK.

Mixed paper kept a little bit of interest from UK, South East Asia and some European mills, and this helped to keep the price stable.

Interestingly, multi seems to have gained in recent weeks.

Recycled metals

Copper and brass were the only movers this week, with both increasing by £100 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