Have you ever noticed the numbers on the bottoms of milk packages? If you did, do you know their meaning? This is not a silly question, since those numbers are not just randomly added, but their hidden meaning can be more than simply interesting. Their meaning is vague or unknown to the majority of milk consumers.
In some countries all milk carton packages on their bottoms have numbers from 1 to 5, or from 1 to 6. These numbers have two meanings, and the first one is a good reason to panic. Namely, these numbers in fact show the number of times the milk has been recycled or reprocessed.
The milk is regulated by law to be reprocessed again at 190 °C and send back to the stores. This process can be done up to 5 times so all manufactures are required to print the exact number of times they have repeated this process. And once again, this is regulated by law. The truth is that milk re-processing or recycling whatever you call it, is real and allowed in some countries.
If these printed numbers (123456) lack one number, that`s exactly how many times the milk was recycled. For example, if the package has printed 12456 on it, the number 3 is missing, which leads to the fact that that milk`s date of usage has expired 3 times or the milk has been re-pasteurized 3 times.
Moreover, some milk cartons do not have all the numbers, but one, which again signifies the same thing. That is another trick manufactures use, so if you buy the whole box you`ll notice that the number missing from some package is applied on the other one.
Now, according to the second piece of information, these numbers indicate the number of times the carton has been recycled.