California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Rigid Plastic Packaging Container (RPPC) Program

Advisory Opinion Requests

Information You Need to Know...

The information provided on this webpage is an overview of the Rigid Plastic Packaging Container (RPPC) law and regulations; it does not replace the requirements specified within them. Always refer to the full text of the regulations and Statute, to ensure full compliance.

Overview

Product manufacturers have requested CalRecycle assistance to determine whether a rigid plastic packaging container is included within the RPPC program. In response, CalRecycle has developed a process for obtaining an Advisory Opinion. An Advisory Opinion can only be requested by product manufacturers meeting specific criteria. Advisory Opinions are prepared on a case-by-case basis.

Qualifying for an Advisory Opinion

Only product manufacturers who have received a notice from CalRecycle to submit either a precertification or a compliance certification may request an Advisory Opinion. Following receipt of a precertification or compliance certification notice, a product manufacturer has 90 calendar days to submit a request to CalRecycle.

Note: container manufacturers may not request an advisory opinion. In part, this is because container manufacturers are not directly responsible for meeting the requirements of the law.

Considering an Advisory Opinion Request?

Before requesting an Advisory Opinion the Container Determination Tools (Tools) webpage should be reviewed. CalRecycle has developed this site and some tools to assist product manufacturers in determining whether their particular product’s RPPC is included in this program.

After reviewing the Container Determination Tools (Tools) webpage, if a product manufacturer still has questions regarding applicability of the law to an RPPC, a written advisory opinion request should be prepared.

Advisory Opinion Request Preparation

In order to provide an Advisory Opinion, CalRecycle must have sufficient and relevant information providing the specific facts related to the question being asked. Complete requests include, but are not limited to, the following information:

  • Contact information for the product manufacturer’s representative.
  • A letter detailing, in a clear and concise manner, the question(s) for which an advisory opinion is needed.
  • A description of the RPPC, including (but not limited to):
    • The volumetric capacity, such as ounces or cubic millimeters, expressed by container specifications.
    • The dimensions of the container.
    • The container’s empty weight in grams.
    • The resin(s) of the container. If more than one resin is used, provide clarification as to how/where each resin is used.
    • Were different resins used in the product container previously? If yes, what resin(s) were used and what was the date of the change in resin(s)?
    • Any incidentals or components and their composition. “Incidentals or Components” includes caps, lids, handles, hinges, and/or other non-plastic material.
  • A container manufacturer certification specific to the RPPC.
  • 5-by-7-inch pictures of the container. The container should fill at least two-thirds of the picture and include a scale, such as a ruler. Do NOT submit physical examples unless specifically requested by CalRecycle.
  • All labeling associated with the specific product and/or RPPC.
  • All additional facts and related material that should be taken into consideration as they relate to the question being asked. These materials can include, but are not limited to:
    • Date(s) container was manufactured.
    • Date(s) the product was first sold or offered for sale within California within the RPPC.
    • If claiming source reduction:
      • Date of reduction.
      • Container weight before reduction.
    • If claiming that the product is exempt:
      • Explain how the product/rigid plastic packaging container is exempt.
      • Include any registrations, licenses, and certification.
    • Any federal registration(s).
    • Other supporting studies related to the RPPC.
  • Any other information the product manufacturer may deem necessary for CalRecycle to consider as it relates to the RPPC in question.

Advisory Opinion Request Submittal

The complete request must be submitted to CalRecycle’s Legal Office within 90 calendar days of the product manufacturer’s receiving either an RPPC precertification or compliance certification notice. All advisory opinion requests must be sent to the following address:

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
RPPC Advisory Opinion Request, MS 10-A-17
P.O. Box 4025
SSacramento, CA 95812-4025

CalRecycle will respond to all written product manufacturer advisory opinion requests within 90 calendar days of receiving a request submitted as described above. 

Last updated: December 8, 2015
Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Plastics/RPPC/
Contact: RPPC@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6717