California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Rigid Plastic Packaging Container (RPPC) Program

Container Compliance Options

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.

Container Compliance Options

The RPPC law provides several compliance options. This provides product manufacturers flexibility to comply with the law in different ways.

Each compliance option has specific requirements that must be met. Refer to the full text of the regulations referenced below. The compliance options include:

  • Postconsumer Material Content: The RPPC must be made from at least 25 percent postconsumer material. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(1))
  • Source Reduction (achieved by):
    • Reduced Container Weight: The RPPC’s weight must be reduced by at least 10 percent. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(2))
    • Product Concentration: Product held within the RPPC must be concentrated by at least 10 percent. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(3))
    • Product Concentration and Reduced Container Weight Combination: The RPPC has a combination of increased product concentration and reduced container weight. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(4))
    • Comparison to Similar Products: The RPPC, when compared to another product manufacturer’s container that is alike in material type, shape and volume, must weigh at least 10 percent less. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(5)
  • Reusable RPPC: The RPPC is routinely reused at least five times where the reuse is to hold a replacement product. This does not refer to a container that is intended to be used or may be used to permanently hold the original product sold in that container. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(6))
  • Refillable RPPC: The RPPC is routinely returned to and refilled by the product manufacturer or its agent at least five times to replenish the contents of the original RPPC. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(7))
  • Particular Type, Product Associated, or Single Resin Type RPPC Recycling Rate: The RPPC must be recycled at a 45 percent recycling rate. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(8))
  • Floral Industry: The RPPC must contain floral preservatives and is subsequently reused by the floral industry for at least two years. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (d)(9))
  • Alternative Container Compliance Method: The product manufacturer, or another company under the same corporate ownership, consumes postconsumer material generated in California in the manufacture of RPPCs or other plastic product or plastic packaging that is equivalent to or exceeds 25 percent postconsumer material. (14CCR Section 17945.3 (e))

Calculating Compliance

Product manufacturer must calculate their container compliance using the formulas developed by CalRecycle. The formulas ensure product manufacturers use and report the appropriate data when submitting a claim for a particular container compliance option. All of the formulas are found within 14CCR Section 17945.5.

For product manufacturers that have several products within RPPCs, compliance may be achieved based on averaging (14CCR Section 17944 (b)). Averages may be calculated using either data specific to California or nationwide. If averages are used to achieve compliance, all RPPCs must be accounted for in the calculation or achieve compliance through another option.

Averaging can be achieved through the following container compliance options:

Additional information regarding the compliance options will be made available on this webpage soon.

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