The Milk Bag...Tired of Being Treated Like Yesterdays Trash!




A CHALLENGE - Stop throwing out milk bags. Stop buying freezer and sandwich bags. Reuse the milk bags and wait for the surplus to start building up.

I noticed that the actual bag that carries the milk is not recyclable in my community and I can see why. It is however an extremely useful little tool that you pay for, discard, and readily pay for a substandard substitute on a daily basis.

Manufacturers go to great lengths to provide high quality, "industrial strength" packaging to ensure their product arrives to you, the end consumer, safely. You wouldn't have it any other way and you pay for it. The problem arises when you throw this away and replace it with an expensive "consumer grade" product. The milk bag is an excellent example of this. There are many more, I'm sure.

The lowly, food grade, extremely tear resistant, stretchable, cuttable, waterproof, thick walled and well bonded milk bag. We throw this away, alot, and buy cheap sandwich and freezer bags that leak or easily burst at the seams for outrageous prices considering my opinion of product failure. The milk bag has uses beyond just a bag due to its unbelievable strength. Trust me, try to stretch it with any sort of control and you'll see what I mean. Like I said..."Industrial Strength" not wimpy little whiney, "I wish I could live up to your expectations" consumer strength.

What you need: 1 milk bag
scissors (optional)

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Step 1: Wash, Rinse, Dry

Wash, rinse and dry thoroughly as you would any dish to remove any leftover milk residue.

To dry properly, the bag must be expanded to keep the sides apart and stood vertically or hung. I finally found aother use for that wire banana stand.

Note - Cutting the top of the bag open at this point will make washing and drying easier, but it will limit the uses later.

Step 2: Open End Uses

If the end of the bag is opened, it can be used in the place of any bag of similar size. It conveniently fits sandwiches and most single serving meat portions wonderfully. It's strength allows you to jam things in with a little more vigor than most other bags making it useful for storing semisolids such as ground beef or dough or as a piping bag.

Use as a grow bag for hanging or potted plants by perforating it to allow for drainage.

Step 3: "Unopen" End Bag Uses

If you leave the bag with only the corner removed, it can become a durable gas or liquid container with a little modification. By stretching the corner of the bag that was removed, you can create a filling tube which can then be stretched further to form a filling tube/tie off.

The bag can then be easily filled with air using a straw or equivalent and with liquid using a funnel.

To create the "fill tube", simply and gently stretch the corner from the bag. This will take a short while and will require patience and a little strength. Allow the heat from your hand to soften the plastic and gently pull it allowing it to slip through your fingers to prevent overstretch. Repeat many, many, many times and do not pull too hard or too soft. You'll get it with a little practice and may even develop a better way. This stuff is stronger than you think. PULLLLLL or you will be here all day. If it tears, you will have a replacement soon enough.

Try to keep the stretch as even as possible for strength and extend the tube as far as required to easily tie it off.

Step 4: The Uses Are Limited by Your Needs.

Some of the liquid filled uses are obvious and others are not. To make portions from larger amounts for rationing, transport and/or storage. Camping, emergency supplies, freezing, a paper weight, portable weight bag, a really heavy and throwable water baloon so be careful, etc.

Fill it with gas and you've got an inflatable travel pillow (Try buying a more comfortable or durable one), lumbar support (nice and bouncy), bath pillow, noise maker, 1/30 of a mattress, 1/1000 of a lot of fun if coupled with a pit to fill, a really ugly balloon, a not so ugly balloon with some work and creativity. Duct tape it to your dash board and you've got air bags. I want to fill one with expanding foam inside of a form to make a brick that can be used for building, insulation, a floatation device, or just to throw at someone. Fill with sand to make 1L sand bags.

I didn't even mention it as a source of thick sheet plastic for a multitude of uses.

They are strong, thick, very useful and being needlessly wasted when you think of what the alternatives that we pay for are. You can't stop them all because you do go through a lot and they are not endlessly reusable, but you can reduce a significant amount of unnecessary bags being purchased in the first place if you use your imagination.

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    110 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 4

    FYI: to the best of my knowledge, the milk bags are only in Canada; the USA uses cartons & jugs. I have friends in the USA who marvel at the milk that comes in bags here in Canada.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    yes we have square pizza,though most people get it in a circle XD And it's only -40 in the winter. I don't assume all Americans believe the stereotypical bunk about Canadians,but I've found it quite a few times. (( Like when an American kid came to Canada and was amazed we weren't learning how to be lumberjacks,fur traders or mounties,since that's all we do here hahahahaha)) Anyway this is a great idea,my Grandma has been doing it for years but I shall integrate it into my household. Thank you for this!

    6 replies

    I have to admit. I kinda stole the freezer bag idea from someone's grandma too, a long time ago and can't remember who. You know, I'll bet we could learn a lot from grandparents. Just a hunch.


    I think your right,I learn tons from my gran but sometimes I just don't relize it. Either I get her to teach me,or just while I watch her absently I notice all the little things she does. Grandparents are very helpful

    Respect to the elders! :)


    I find it pays to be observant. They have years of experience that cannot easily be put into words much of the time. Respect!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A milk bag is as the name suggests- a bag of milk.There is three clear plastic one litre bags of milk that come in another bag.You put the clear plastic bags into a pitcher,cut off a corner so you can pour milk and vola! You have your milk! It is used in other places I'm sure,but it is in Canada in normal grocery stores. I read other comments and found out that there aren't any in the USA,unless you go to some sort of specialty store.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    what country do you live in where consumer milk comes in bags? In the states ours comes in rigid plastic or paper cartons except bulk milk used in restaurants and other large eating establishments.

    11 replies

    you can find milk in a bag that's inside a box in Wal-mart. Although I don't advocate shopping at Wal-mart! I live Texas if you were wondering..

    Can you take a picture of it with your cell phone or something Also there is going to be a plant code some where on the box. Its going to be at least 4 to 6 numbers long and will probably start with 48. Can you write that down as well?

    haha....well I really loathe going within 1/2 a mile of that particular place but I might be able to work something out for you. I'll get back to you on that. Although I will NOT buy any of this because I refuse to spend money there. So you would only be able to see the box.

    I used to work in my college's dining commons and those huge milk bags were impossible to handle. It was like carrying a giant octopus. Once another student worker dropped one and it flooded half the dining room.

    In Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa - we always had plastic bottles for milk.. but here in Uruguay the milk is bagged.... but the bags are all coloured and printed...... i wonder what else we can do with 'em...!?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    In India, most milk or liquid dairy products (custards, yohurts) come in bags, they come in giant tanks to the milk shop and get packaged there. There's usually 2 or 3 deliveries a day and everything is sold at the end of the day. It's mostly because refrigeration is expensive where I was so not many private homes have fridges.