Rigid Plastic Packaging Container (RPPC) Determination Tools

Product manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that product packaging meeting the definition of RPPC complies with the law.

RPPCs used by product manufacturers range in:

  • Shape
  • Color
  • Size
  • Form

Each product’s plastic packaging container must be independently evaluated to determine whether its attributes, evaluated as a whole, qualify it as an RPPC.

Examples of RPPCs

RPPCs can include, but are not limited to:








Bottles (both wide mouth and narrow neck)

Plastic Folding Cartons

Plastic Folding Cartons.




Clamshells (both heat-sealed and reclosable



Polymer Foam



Note: Photos are for demonstration purposes only.
Rulers in some photos provide scale.
A product manufacturer should not make a conclusion that their package is or is not an RPPC based solely on one of these photos.
If you have questions, contact CalRecycle’s RPPC staff.

Determining a Container’s Volume or Equivalent Capacity

One of the factors for determining whether a product’s RPPC is regulated is the volume or capacity of the RPPC.  
An RPPC has a minimum capacity or volume of 8 fluid ounces up to a maximum capacity or volume of 5 gallons.  

If you are unsure of a particular RPPC’s total volume or equivalent capacity, consider the following: 

  • Contact the container manufacturer. 
  • Work with the packaging engineers/designers within your company. 
  • Conduct measurements yourself. 

The following may assist you in conducting your own measurement: 

a photo realistic image of a glass measuring cup filled with uncooked rice.

Note: The identification of, or any resemblance to, particular companies, products, or materials listed on this webpage does not constitute endorsement by CalRecycle and is provided for informational purposes only. CalRecycle is distributing this information to increase public awareness and knowledge. 

Example RPPCs 

Factors to consider in determining if a product’s plastic packaging container meets the definition of RPPC. View types of containers regulated by the RPPC program. YouTube (00:03:30) | Transcript

Determining a Container’s Volume or Capacity 

Methods for measuring the volume or capacity of a product’s plastic packaging container. YouTube (00:08:08) | Transcript

This page provides a brief overview and is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of legal requirements. Please refer to statute and regulations for a complete list of requirements. Users are encouraged to seek the assistance of legal counsel to comply with applicable state law based on their pertinent facts and circumstances.

Phone: (916) 341-6717  |   Email: RPPC@calrecycle.ca.gov  |  Fax: (916) 319-7102