Why it’s criminal to store records in milk crates

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What’s the beef?

Sturdy, portable, customisable and conveniently sized for a 12″ – it’s easy to see how record collectors fell in love with milk crates. Even Urban Outfitters clocked the trend, a few years ago launching their own take on classic milk crates.

But unlike the hipster range, the catch with authentic dairy bins is that they’re free. Rarely has an object been so perfectly and unexpectedly repurposed. A smug victory for recycling, right? Wrong.

“Unauthorized use of milk cases illegal. Fine of $300 or imprisonment up to 90 days”
– Pennsylvania Law Act No. 37 1987.

It’s not just Pennsylvania. There are similar laws in many other states and theft of milk crates is taken extremely seriously by the dairy industry.

Website gotmilkcrates.com busts a bunch of milk crate myths to help you understand the beef. The biggest concern is for dairy companies who are estimated to lose $80million a year from stolen crates.

These companies have gone to great lengths to try to stop people from taking crates. One company apparently hired a private investigator to look into what was happening, while according to a Reddit user, many companies actually changed the dimensions of crates to ward off crate diggers.

The upshot is that if you store records in an authentic dairy crate, you’re probably breaking the law.

For an in-depth look at this issue head over to our favourite agriculture site Modern Farmer, where you can also find out how to surrender your crates.

Read next: How to store your record collection in 8 steps

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