Business in Brief: August 30 - September 5

Submitted reports
Posted 8/29/18

Smith's to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2025; Lujan Grisham, Howie Morales take jobs bus tour; Oil advocate Pearce stumps for renewables

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Business in Brief: August 30 - September 5


Smith's to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2025

Smith's Food & Drug Stores, a division of The Kroger Co., announced it will phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags across its family of stores by 2025.

"As part of our Zero Hunger / Zero Waste commitment, we are phasing out use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags," said Kenny Kimball, President of Smith's Food & Drug Stores, in a statement. "It's a bold move that will better protect our planet for future generations."

By some estimates, about 100 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away in the United States every year. Currently, less than 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled annually in America.

Smith's and Kroger will solicit customer feedback and work with nongovernmental organizations and community partners to ensure a responsible transition.

"We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns," said Aubriana Martindale, Smith's corporate affairs manager, in a news statement. "This decision aligns with our "Restock Kroger" commitment to live our purpose through social impact."

Earlier this week, Kroger was named to the sixth spot in Fortune magazine's Change the World 2018 list. The recognition highlights the work of 57 big companies across the world using their resources to solve societal problems. The company was recognized for its social impact plan Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.

Lujan Grisham, Howie Morales take jobs bus tour

Michelle Lujan Grisham and Howie Morales, Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, are on a whirlwind Jobs and Leadership Bus Tour to all 33 New Mexico counties. The jobs tour kicked off in Doña Ana and Luna Counties Aug. 26.

They'll be discussing jobs at a matanza at Taos Mayor David Barrone's house, 609 Zia Street, from 2:30 - 4 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 2). RSVP at

"Howie and I are laser-focused on job creation in all parts of New Mexico, and our comprehensive economic plans will create jobs immediately and give our working families a raise while also building long-term economic growth, diversity, and stability for generations to come," said Lujan Grisham. "We must and we will turn around the failed economic policies of the last eight years and get New Mexicans back to work while letting the world know New Mexico is open for business again."

"Michelle and I have no higher priorities than rebuilding our economy, making New Mexico the leader in renewable energy production and distribution, turning New Mexico into a hub for international trade, expanding the film industry, and getting New Mexicans in all corners of the state back to work," Morales said.

Oil advocate Pearce stumps for renewables

Steve Pearce, Republican candidate for New Mexico governor, met with Kit Carson Electric Cooperative members in early August to discuss his plans for promoting renewable energy. KCEC has set a goal of meeting 100 percent of the daytime summer needs of its customers from solar by 2022.

Pearce supports an "all of the above" approach to energy, including promoting oil and gas production, which remain the mainstay of New Mexico's financial health. But he said he wants to attract more renewable energy and businesses that use it.

"We don't have to pick between renewable and traditional energy sources in New Mexico," said Luis Reyes, Jr., head of KCEC, who threw his support behind Pearce. "We can build a diverse energy economy that creates jobs and provides affordable energy to our families. Steve Pearce is the right person to lead that effort as governor."

"New Mexico is poised to lead the nation in clean, renewable energy," said Pearce in a statement. "What's needed is the leadership and vision to market New Mexico's competitive advantage to companies searching for affordable renewable energy."

Pearce said he wants to attract to New Mexico companies from the RE100 ( list, such as IKEA and Lego, that have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy. He said New Mexico's "unique competitive advantage in solar and wind energy should be leveraged to encourage these companies."


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