Published on August 29th, 2013 | by Alan Cross


Attention Vinyl Fans: Are You a Milk Crate Criminal?

Ah, the humble milk crate.  Once you got the sour smell out of the plastic, they made great storage bins for vinyl.  Seldom has any product been so perfectly and unexpectedly repurposed.

Canadian vinyl fans got lucky with the metric system. With litre containers smaller than quarts, the entire industry had to shift to smaller milk crates, orphaning many millions of the older larger crates.  It just so happens that at the time of the switch, I was working in a grocery store where part of my duties required restocking the dairy case.  I did my part in finding the old crates a good home.  

Milk crates are still treasured by vinyl collectors, DJs and sellers.  And with the resurrection of vinyl, milk crate theft is apparently on the rise.  Many thousands go, er, missing from grocery stores and dairies every day.  

SF Weekly looks at milk theft crime, something that causes the US dairy industry more than $80 million a year.  There’s even a website called (somewhat predictably) Got Milk Crates? that looks at the problem.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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8 Responses to Attention Vinyl Fans: Are You a Milk Crate Criminal?

  1. Heather says:

    The Got Milk Crates link is broken.

  2. John Helaey says:

    Why don't the crate manufactures create products aimed at addressing this niche?

    If people are steeling them there has to be a demand…

    "Spin some vinyl today, you'll feel better."

  3. Mike H says:

    yeah, they were great until the metric system screwd things up!

  4. Rob says:

    I started accumulating vinyl records in 2000 and had the exact opposite thought when I went to my local Reid's Dairy to borrow some milk crates. Why don't my records fit squarely into these brand new crates? Goddamn metric system!
    Where can you find these things nowadays in Canada?

  5. Pingback: IKEA Discontinues EXPEDIT Shelf; Offers Record Collectors KALLAX as an Alternative : The Modern Age

  6. Pingback: LBSTR - Lobmilk milkcrate | the maxiemillion

  7. Pingback: DIY vinyl storage solutions? - MyLesPaul.com

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