Attached is your PO for deliveries of recyclables during August2023.

The value of recyclables is down again this month.  Plastics are the predominant cause for this drop.

In the Pacific Northwest (PNW), demand from domestic paper mills is down significantly.WestRock announced the closing of their Tacoma Mill, effective September 30, 2023.  In anticipation of this closure, WestRock started to immediately reduce its inbound OCC volume.  This announcement created downward pricing pressure.  If it were not for a strong export market, the domestic market prices would have dropped.  Domestic mixed paper is also flat in the PNW.  There was a small increase in the export market demand and pricing for mixed paper.

For the third straight month, plastics pricing continued to plummet.  These market changes had the largest impact on overall recyclables.  Usually a strong performer, HDPE natural prices fell again.  Today’s price is 80% less than a few months ago.HDPE color, PET, and all other grades (except PP#5) continue to fall.  These prices are driven by economic downturns and producers using less expensive virgin resin.

In addition to plastic grades losing value, domestic consumption of these materials is almost nonexistent.  Consequently, we ship most of the plastic grades to export markets.  Port expenses further reduce the value of these recyclables.  Again, finding movement for these low-demand grades remains difficult.  Without access to export markets, some MRFs are unable to sell the product and continue to stockpile plastics.

Metals were flat to slightly down.Consumption of aluminum cans remains suppressed.Consumer purchases of foods from tin cans are also down.

Looking forward, we expect the closing of WestRock’s Tacoma mill to create more softness in the paper market.  And, there is no indicator that the plastics market will recover any time soon.  These trends indicate lower recyclables value in the near future.

These are trying economic times, creating uncertainty in the recyclables market.  We are staying on top of trends to deliver you the highest possible price and to provide you with the best service.  It is our pleasure to work with you to recycle material and to protect our environment.  We appreciate you and thank you for your business.

Stay Safe!  Enjoy this Holiday season.

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