Photo credit: The Canadian Design Resource

Yup. Here in this part of Canada we have been buying our milk in large plastic bags since the early 80s. It either never occurred to me or I’d simply forgotten that this is something unique up here, and many of my friends south of the border have probably never seen such a thing.

While traditional cardboard cartons are still used for the 250ml/500ml/1L/2L sizes, if your family drinks a reasonable amount of milk (and who doesn’t if you have kids?) the 4L size is definitely the most economical. You’ll pay around $5.50-$6 for a 4L sack that contains three individual 1.33L bags, as compared to around $4.50-$5 for a 2L cardboard carton.

Photo credit: The Canadian Design Resource

A plastic milk pitcher is used to hold the bags, and these are generally so durable that most families only ever need to buy one – I’m still using the one I bought about 20 years ago when I first moved out on my own.

Basically you just drop the bag into the pitcher, shake it a couple of times to make sure it’s in properly, then snip the corner of the bag to pour. When you’re done, you pull the bag out, drain out the last few drops and then toss it in your household trash.

While this may seem a bit more cumbersome than simply opening a cardboard carton, if it’s what you’ve been used to for your entire life, it actually seems quite straightforward. It also has the added advantage of reducing waste.