Recycling Markets with Brian: Let's Talk Plastics

November 21, 2023

You have probably heard NRRA talk about the plastic markets by now.  It has been the big talk for nearly 6 months now. Markets are down and plastics are hard to get rid of.  There are numerous reasons for the low prices and NRRA wanted to share with you some of the reasons. 

#1 PET 

There is a global overabundance of recycled PET right now.  Add that, plus the fact that low quality/low priced imports of recycled PET and cheap virgin material and you can see why the market has been pretty gloomy.  It is not all bad news though; market prices have risen around 1.5 cents per pound lately. We are slowly seeing PET become a source of revenue again.   

#2 HDPE Mixed Color 

This saw a large market price increase of 7.75 cents per pound increase, but consumer product sales are still down, which affects HDPE and PP plastics. 

#2 HDPE Natural 

From my understanding, one of the country's leading users of recycled HDPE natural decided to stop using post-consumer material.  This sent shock waves and while the market price did rise 2 cents per pound, it is the lowest it has been in quite some time.  


This is a large part of a quote that you may or may not see.  Even though you may see a zero-transportation cost doesn’t mean it does not exist, it is just built into the pricing.  It is important to look at the minimum weight and make sure you hit that mark, or you may see a low weight charge.  Different companies calculate low weight differently, so it is important to try to give us accurate bale weights and bale counts. 

For more on monthly market pricing, please see the Members Only Market Update section of the website.