Around Town | May 27, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 27, 2011

Around Town

A BAN WITH AN ASTERISK ... The bag at the checkout stand of Mollie Stone's on California Avenue in Palo Alto looked like plastic, felt like plastic, sounded like plastic when folded and even included something called "post consumer plastic" in its ingredient list on the back. Yet the bag, to the surprise of one shopper who visited the supermarket last week, doesn't violate the ban on plastic checkout bags that the city famously adopted last year. The reason is thickness. Unlike the fluttery plastic bags that end up in local creeks and storm drains, the bags at Mollie Stone's were created to be reusable. Phil Bobel, the city's interim assistant director of public works, said the bag's thickness qualifies it as a reusable bag, which makes it kosher by the city's standards. Bobel, who as the city's environmental compliance manager spearheaded the effort to get plastic bags out of the checkout stands of local supermarkets, said the thicker, heavier bags aren't nearly as problematic as the lighter and more common ones. "I was just doing some cleanup work at a creek this past Saturday and I didn't see any bags of this type," Bobel said. "They don't blow around like the other bags do."

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