Market Capacity Concerns

August 17, 2022

We have all heard the expression, "What goes up, must come down." This is very true of the recycling commodity market.

At NRRA, we have begun to see a definite downward trend in pricing this month. More concerning, however, is that many of our most popular and well-trusted mills are full to capacity with material that they have received in the past month. This is why these mills are not currently accepting plastics & cardboard.

The market for #1 - #7 baled plastics is very limited for the time being, and this trend may continue in the future. We encourage our members to consider moving to a system of separating out the #1's and #2s and market, instead, baled #3 - #7 plastics which are still slow moving but more widely accepted.

The Cardboard market became flooded with material during the past several months of great pricing. Now, it seems many of our vendors are struggling to keep up with the influx of material they have received. Because of this, many of our cardboard vendors are not currently accepting additional material and are asking us to wait a couple of weeks before sending them more. Furthermore, due to supply and demand, pricing for OCC, or corrugated cardboard, is currently very low. Adding insult to injury, the cost to transport material to the mills is at an all time high.  

For the moment, Steel and Aluminum Cans are still moving and some plastics are moving. There is also a limited market for clean, baled mixed paper.

Bottom line: We have seen this before - markets ebb and flow over time. If you have the space and capacity to hold on to your baled OCC and Plastics, we encourage you to do so. We hope to see the mills to catch up within the next month and will keep you posted.