Baltimore Takes Action
Cloverland Dairy lost $1 million in crates last year. Investigations uncovered a ring that was stealing more than $4 million worth of plastic crates from dairies, bakeries and soft drink distributors. Baltimore City and County police made arrests. Prosecution is underway.


Plastic milk crate losses do not have to be part of the cost of doing business. More and more dairy companies are joining with local baking and soft drink companies to urge their local law enforcement and legislators to take action. Here are a few initiatives that are working:

  • Maryland law makes it a crime to improperly use, damage or destroy a registered returnable plastic container (this includes milk crates, bakery trays, etc.) and violations can result in imprisonment for up to one year.  Read the latest. 
  • The Police Departments in San Jose and Santa Clara, California, arrested seven people suspected of stealing copper wire and plastic milk crates for resale to scrap recyclers. Read more
  • Los Angeles dairy companies joined forces with the L.A. County Integrated Waste Management Task Force to make plastic re-processors aware that accepting branded milk crates is illegal. Read more
  • California passed a law that required scrap recyclers to obtain proof of ownership before accepting more than 4 plastic milk crates. Read article

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