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[email protected]: Fast-food giants take $1B in federal aid for small businesses | Top CPG plastic polluters of 2020

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Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Fast-food giants gobbled up $1B in federal aid for small businesses

New Paycheck Protection Program data released by the Small Business Administration shows that the relief grants were largely absorbed by huge franchises. These conglomerates also apparently bypassed the $10 million cap on loans through the use of subsidiaries. Incredibly, just 1% of the nation's restaurants received a full quarter of PPP loans. And with thousands of businesses expected to go under in 2021, The Counter makes it clear that financial retribution for small, independent operations is necessary.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row

Break Free From Plastic's annual audit of the worst environmental offenders when it comes to plastic waste has nothing new to say. That is, the same three companies that topped the list last year haven't made much progress after three years of the same outcome. But in 2020 Coca-Cola was worse than PepsiCo and Nestle combined; its branding was found on 13,834 pieces of plastic discarded on beaches, rivers, parks and other litter sites worldwide. The Guardian has the scoop.

Kroger breaks into top 10 US e-commerce companies

Kroger beat Costco while receiving a spot for the first time on eMarketer's Top 10 U.S. Retail E-Commerce Companies list. Kroger is the only pure grocery company on the list—Amazon, Walmart and eBay snagged the first three spots. Supermarket News lists the rest of the companies finding success in the COVID-driven e-commerce revolution.

WoodSpoon dips into $2M seed for hand-crafted food marketplace

WoodSpoon offers on-demand, hand-crafted meals that are made by home chefs and delivered to diners via an app-based online marketplace. The business supports out-of-work local chefs during a time of great need, and has already amassed over 8,000 users and garners an average of $15,000 in sales per month. Crunchbase News reports.

Plant-based meats are on the rise. But are they sustainable?

Plants require far fewer resources to produce than conventional meat does, making plant-based meat alternatives inherently easier on the environment. But the issue may be a little more multifaceted than that, especially as soy and pea protein monocultures scale up and companies continue to promote damaging large-scale farming practices. Mother Jones delves into the nuance.

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