The Latest Movements in Post-Consumer Natural HDPE & Corrugated Containers Pricing

The Latest Movements in Post-Consumer Natural HDPE & Corrugated Containers Pricing

Since early 2014, the national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has risen steadily to a high of 56 cents per pound in August. This price level was maintained through the end of September. However in October, through to November 14, the price dropped rapidly to the current 43-46 cents per pound range (see graph).

Similarly, the national average price of post-consumer color high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has also dropped steadily from 30.4 cents per pound in October, to the current 27.7 cents per pound. This is not quite the 10-cent per pound drop of its natural counterpoint, but nevertheless still a strong downward trend.

Meanwhile, the national average of PET post-consumer materials has dropped 2 cents per pound since June 2014, from 20 to 18 cents per pound.

These prices are as reported on the Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Index. This pricing represents what is being paid for post-consumer recyclable plastic materials in a sorted, baled format, picked up at most major recycling centers.


Corrugated Containers (PS-11) Continue Downward Price Trend

The national average prices for post-consumer Corrugated (PS-11) continue on their gradual monthly downward price trend.

Over the past year, the #11 PSI grade has dropped from a national median average high of $129 per ton as reported in November 2013, to the current average low of $96 per ton.

These published prices are for mill-size bales, FOB (freight on board) dealers’ plants, as reported on the Secondary Fiber Pricing (SFP) Index.

Meanwhile, prices for most post-consumer (PSI) high grades have remained constant over the past year.


Robert Boulanger is currently president of Recycling Markets Ltd., and director of the Commodity Pricing division. He has extensive experience in the operation and management of recycling plants, and is a long time publisher in the recycling sector. For more than 30 years, the company and its affiliates have focused on the management of company databases and commodity pricing for the recycling industry. In 2002, was developed as the first industry online format to publish real-time pricing for 18 PSI grades of recyclable paper. was launched in 2004 for postconsumer plastics, cans and glass. Online Members have instant access to more than 10 years of historical data.

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