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•  PCC Community Markets, the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., announced yesterday that "it has discontinued the sale of plastic bottled water sized below one gallon. This move broadens an earlier PCC ban on single-serve plastic water bottles of 500ml or less and the change will eliminate the sale of roughly 100,000 single-use plastic bottles across PCC’s 15 stores each year.

"The expansion of the existing ban on plastic water bottles is part of the co-op’s ongoing mission to reduce use of petroleum-based plastics … The ban does not apply to sparkling water or enhanced waters such as high-PH drinks."

PCC says that it "has worked to provide shoppers with more sustainable options, including water sold in refillable and reusable aluminum bottles.  Rather than single-use cans, these bottles are sturdy enough to be reused multiple times and if it gets damaged, the bottle can be easily recycled. Similar to glass, these aluminum bottles are infinitely recyclable.  Additional ways that PCC provides alternative options for water continues to include:  Bulk water dispensing … Boxed water (in packaging similar to milk cartons) … (and) Water in glass bottles, which are reusable and recyclable."

•  The National Grocers Association (NGA) announced that this year's winner of the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award is Cheryl Sommer, owner, president and CEO of Kaune’s Neighborhood Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Kaune’s Neighborhood Market has operated in Santa Fe since 1896, when German grocer Henry Spenser Kaune started the business. In 2003, Sommer acquired the store and since then has been the only locally owned independent grocery store in Santa Fe.

The Zaucha award has been presented annually since 2009 to recognize an independent grocer’s persistence, vision and creativity.

•  Forbes has an interview with Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller, in which he said that he "believes that a healthier future for the company lies in making healthier foods more available, affordable and convenient."

“Covid amplified the vulnerability of those with obesity and diabetes to serious illness,” Muller said. “We need to take an active role in helping people eat healthier foods at affordable prices.”

The story goes on:  "The company is adding more plant-based choices, and its Hannaford stores even have nutritionists on hand to guide consumers who are new to this type of eating. The largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, has doubled the number of vegan products this year. The Delhaize stores in Belgium saw a 20% rise in plant-based volume recently. Muller believes that 'a balanced diet that includes significant plant-based products can make a difference.'  Along with adding more plant-based foods, the company has also banished cigarettes from its Hannaford and Giant Food Company stores in the US."