The price of scrap paper, plastic, and metal bales have made a notable increase, especially for HDPE pipes. HDPE pipes have reached new record highs. Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes that come from curbside collection programs average at 81.88 cents per pound, up from 33.75 cents per pound last year.
Color HDPE pipes are trading for 30.13 cents per pound, which is up exponentially high from just 4.64 cents per pound in April of 2020.
The national average in the price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars has increased by 18% in one month. It is currently trading at 11.95 cents per pound. Last year the national average was 9.34 cents per pound.
Polypropylene (including polypropylene pipes) is up from 13.69 cents per pound to 15.63 cents per pound in April alone.
Other recyclables such as aluminum, and more specifically, used beverage cans that come from curbside collection services, increased to 64.13 cents per pound – a 3.07 cent increase from March. In 2020, it held a trading value of 40.13 cents per pound.
The increase in prices across the board has risen due to the limitations on waste imports set by China, causing a dramatic effect in the American recycling industry. In addition, the anticipated shift of many large beverage and consumer product companies to use more recycled products has caused changes across the recycling industry.
It is unclear if this will positively or negatively impact the machinery equipment industry or with industrial products online. Each industry that involves industrial equipment or recycled products has its own set of challenges and victories to face as the markets change and as consumers switch to a more eco-friendly focus.