York University Milk Bag Mattress Program

Got milk bags? Reduce, re-use, up-cycle, and help those in need!

Introducing the York University Milk Bag Mattress Program

The Centre for Student Community & Leadership Development is launching York’s first ever Milk Bag Mattress program in an effort to reduce, re-use, up-cycle, and help those in need.

How does it work?

Plastic milk bags are unique to Eastern Canada. While they are convenient for transporting milk, they end up hanging around our environment for about 1,000 years where they can seriously harm wildlife and disrupt the ecosystem.

Since we can’t get rid of milk bags, why not re-use them?

Student Community & Leadership Development staff organizing used milk bags

Prepping milk bags for the weaving process


It turns out that milk bags can be woven into very durable, waterproof, and bug-resistant mattresses that can then be used all over the world in emergency zones as temporary surgical and sleep mats. Each mattress woven helps to divert approximately 500 milk bags from the landfill.

Six SCLD staff members hold up a frame used to weave milk bag mattresses

Building the weaving looms


Our Inspiration

Our website would not be complete without mentioning our inspiration for this program, the City of Markham.