Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading health and well-being company, has announced that Humana Pharmacy customers have started receiving temperature-sensitive medications in new environmentally-friendly, cold-insulated packaging. “At Humana, we recognize the undeniable link between our physical health and the health of the environment. We have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and are investing our time and resources to help make a difference for our planet.” The packaging is made from molded biodegradable expanded polystyrene (EPS) resins, which means it is designed to decompose more than 90% over four years in most landfills. Additionally, inside each new package, customers will now find long-lasting refrigerant gel packs, which are filled with a non-toxic biodegradable gel that can be washed down the kitchen sink.
When Sowete-ü K. Letro was growing up in Dimapur, a town in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland, she had a habit of collecting things. The 27-year-old Letro recalls how she was obsessed with not throwing away any of her things including electronic waste (e-waste). Even when a few items would become useless, she would fondly keep them with herself believing she might use them again in the future. “I have been a hoarder all my life,” Letro said.
What exactly is happening with the oceans? And what can we do to reduce the ever-growing pile of waste created by human activity? These questions are at the center of the two projects that won this year’s STARTS Prize for innovative projects at the interface of science, technology and art. Every year the European Commission awards the STARTS Prize to projects that combine artistic expression, technology and scientific research. This year’s shortlisted projects touched on topics ranging from surveillance technology to DNA data storage, but the final two Grand Prize winners both focused on environment and sustainability.
Creating a circular economy requires involvement from businesses, the public sector, and researchers. Canada’s “Our Food Future” provides a model. Today, a staggering 91% of all resources extracted are wasted. How can the economic system become more sustainable? Many people advocate moving to a “circular economy.” In contrast with today’s “linear” model, a circular approach keeps resources in circulation through reuse and repair. But what does a circular economy actually look like and how do we get there? What steps do businesses need to take, and how can they partner with others? How can researchers help them make the shift?