Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: How come plastic pint milk bottles in the UK look like they can't hold a pint?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3

    How come plastic pint milk bottles in the UK look like they can't hold a pint?

    Hi, does anyone know why modern plastic pint milk bottles in the UK look smaller than the glass pint milk bottles that used to be used in the 1970s and 1980s? Obviously they both hold a pint, but the plastic ones look small and squat, and unable to hold a pint. Why is that? Is it an optical illusion?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    8,004
    Pretty sure, yes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    16,002
    Quote Originally Posted by tufty View Post
    Hi, does anyone know why modern plastic pint milk bottles in the UK look smaller than the glass pint milk bottles that used to be used in the 1970s and 1980s? Obviously they both hold a pint, but the plastic ones look small and squat, and unable to hold a pint. Why is that? Is it an optical illusion?
    They look about the same to me. Is it possible you were smaller in the 1970s? My old primary school is about half the size I remember.

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    16,002
    Or, I guess, you may have a better volumetric memory than I do. A modern plastic "pint" bottle actually contains 500ml, whereas the imperial pint in the old glass bottles was 568ml.

    I think I could tell those apart, side by side, even allowing for the different shape and wall thickness of the containers. But I suspect it's beyond my ability to judge from memory.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    14,094
    Glass bottles were round, the plastic versions are more squared off.
    Rules For Posting To This Board
    All Moderation in Purple

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Florida.
    Posts
    5,525
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	71UWaFs83FL._SL1500_.jpg 
Views:	24 
Size:	105.1 KB 
ID:	23376

    That reminds me ... a gallon jug of this would be handy for a prank ...

    (Kids: don't try this at home!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Falls Church, VA (near Washington, DC)
    Posts
    8,074
    A tall, slender bottle subtends a larger solid angle than does a short, squat one of the same volume, when viewed from the side. This makes it look bigger.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Or, I guess, you may have a better volumetric memory than I do. A modern plastic "pint" bottle actually contains 500ml, whereas the imperial pint in the old glass bottles was 568ml.

    Grant Hutchison
    That might have something to do with it.

    I’ve been trying to find photos of the old and new bottles side by side but I can’t. It may be an impossible task

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    16,002
    Quote Originally Posted by tufty View Post
    That might have something to do with it.

    I’ve been trying to find photos of the old and new bottles side by side but I can’t. It may be an impossible task
    If you're prepared to spring a few quid for the answer (and the glory of being the guy who posted that comparison photo!), a search for "pint milk bottle" on eBay turns up any number of vintage specimens on sale.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3
    I might very well have to do that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    5,857
    My guess is that it's mostly illusion; bottles of differing shapes can often be surprising in terms of their volume.

    But it's also worthwhile noting that a glass milk bottle is usually made from fairly thick glass, whereas plastic milk bottles are quite thin. Even if the interior dimensions were identical, the glass bottle would have noticeably larger outer dimensions.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,648
    The now extinct British milkman who used to deliver 568ml in heavy glass bottles to everyone's door without fail at dawn was a beloved part of UK society.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    47,276
    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    The now extinct British milkman who used to deliver 568ml in heavy glass bottles to everyone's door without fail at dawn was a beloved part of UK society.
    The real reason British milkmen went extinct.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    13,274
    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Or, I guess, you may have a better volumetric memory than I do. A modern plastic "pint" bottle actually contains 500ml, whereas the imperial pint in the old glass bottles was 568ml.

    I think I could tell those apart, side by side, even allowing for the different shape and wall thickness of the containers. But I suspect it's beyond my ability to judge from memory.

    Grant Hutchison
    Only 473ml per pint here in the USA, of course.

    Trivial stuff that bugs me:
    One ml of water weighs one gram. Why can't one fl oz of water weigh one ounce? Then a pint would actually be a pound, at least here.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •