This Is Why Canadians Drink Milk Out of Bags

Our unique way of packaging milk has officially left the rest of the world saying, “…eh?”

Why Canadians drink milk out of bagsPhoto: Shutterstock

Ever wonder why our milk is sold in bags?

If you’ve ever travelled to the U.S. (or virtually anywhere outside of Canada for that matter), you may have noticed something peculiar about how milk is sold in grocery stores. You’ll find milk in a carton or jug—but you certainly won’t find it in that familiar nine-pound clear plastic bag. But why? We need answers!

According to, drinking milk out of bags isn’t new—in fact, Canadians have been doing this since the late 1960s. Before Canadian food and packaging company DuPont unveiled their thin, plastic milk bags in 1967, they used glass bottles instead. Ultimately, all of those glass bottles weren’t exactly cost-efficient—and, with Canada’s conversion to the metric system in 1970, it was far easier to comply with metric units in bag form that it was to redesign and manufacture new bottles and jugs. So, the plastic milk bag was born. Today, drinking milk out of a bag is most popular in Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes. (By the way, this is why we refrigerate our eggs and Europeans don’t.)

“It’s estimated that 75 to 80 per cent of the milk sold in Ontario is bagged, and across Canada, about 50 per cent of milk drinkers buy the bagged variety,” according to Surprisingly, Canada isn’t the only place where people drink their milk out of bags. “Milk bags can be found in many other countries, such as South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Hungary, and China. In Israel, there’s a Kankomat: soft, plastic milk bags with a knife built into a plastic container.”

So, there you have it. In Canada, we drink our milk out of plastic bags because it’s more cost-effective.

[Sources: Mental Floss, Food Network, Modern Farmer]

Check out the 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Canadian!

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest