While R-PET prices may have climbed a penny or so in the last quarter, the trend towards using less plastic in water bottles continues to keep prices competitive. The need for processors to keep down their costs and to also meet carbon-footprint and other environmental initiatives is causing those processors to demand lower priced scrap.
While there is not anywhere as many outlets for green R-PET as for clear, green sells at a premium when it’s available, recyclers say. Prices can be up to 3¢/lb higher than clear in the strapping market, for example.
Analysts expect R-PET prices will remain stable or drop a tad for the rest of the year. January remains an open question. While reprocessors think there could be a bump up in prices at that time, it depends how much new virgin capacity comes on line. There is at least one 2-billion-lb facility coming on line in the first quarter, they note.