Plastic

Introduction

This section of the data portal provides a summary of developments in the UK’s recovered plastics market.  The data presented here comes from respected, publicly available and regularly updated sources on the internet.  By following the link(s) above the graphics you can find out more details on the source of the data and visit the sites to access the full data.

The current highlights and trends are:

 

Recovered plastic prices

 

Clear PET bottle prices averaged around £176 per tonne over the past 12 months. Prices have fluctuated over the summer but currently stand at £188 per tonne. 

 

Coloured PET bottle prices averaged around £24 per tonne over the past 12 months. Prices increased by around £5 per tonne at the end of the year, and were trading at £27.50 per tonne in early December. 

 

Natural HDPE bottle prices have averaged around £400 per tonne over the past 12 months. Prices have climbed gradually throughout the year and are currently trading at around £475 per tonne. Mixed HDPE bottle prices have seen strong gains  over the past few months and recently reached  £365 per tonne. This is the highest price point seen since WRAP began monitoring prices in April 2004. The average prices for 2018 was £276 per tonne.

 

Mixed polymer bottle prices have also been changeable, and currently stand at £52.50 per tonne.  The average price for 2018 was £76 per tonne.

 

LDPE 98:2 film prices had begun to show improvement over the past few months but saw a decline since the summer and currently stand at £145 per tonne. The average price for 2018 was £191 per tonne.  

 

Virgin plastic prices

 

Both virgin LDPE and HDPE prices have steadily declined over the past 6 months. During December, Virgin HDPE traded at £1370 per tonne and LDPE traded at £1307. 

Virgin PET prices  also saw a decline between September and December, trading at £1325 per tonne in early December. 

 

Plastic PRN prices  

 

Plastic PRN prices made strong gains during the last few months of the year, rising from £68 per tonne in August 18 to £100 per tonne in December 18. This is over £60 per tonne more than prices seen during the same period in 2017.  

 

Plastic packaging recycling

 

Total plastic packaging recycled dropped to 241kt in 2018Q3 from 275kt in 2017Q3. UK plastic packaging recycling was 99kt,5kt more than figures seen in the same quarter in 2017. Exports for recycling were 142kt in 2018Q3, down 40kt on tonnages in 2017Q3. 

 

UK exports of plastic (both packaging and non-packaging) totalled 48kt in November 2018, down from 51kt twelve months earlier.