The weekly #goodnewssiren round-up #69

October 08, 2021

From Google’s new sustainable search function to the UK’s reduced meat consumption, here’s what is making us smile in the world of sustainability at Siren this week...


Google Rolls Out New Eco-Friendly Search Filters


Google is launching new search filters in the US to help people make more environmentally conscious decisions.

With the new function, users will be able to find flights with low carbon emissions, locate environmentally-friendly appliances and map the most fuel-efficient routes for driving. Even more, Google is set to also introduce safer Lite navigation for cyclists, as well as updating its Electric Vehicle search software.


A French company is using enzymes to recycle one of the most common single-use plastics 


The French start-up, Carbios, has opened a demonstration plant that will use enzymes to recycle PET, one of the most common single-use plastics. This material is often used to make drinks bottles and has been recycled using mechanical methods for decades. Now, this exciting new technique using chemical and enzyme-based processes could produce purer products and allow us to recycle items like clothes that conventional techniques can’t process.

A recent report found that manufacturing PET from enzymatic recycling has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 17 and 43 per cent, compared to making virgin PET.

If the demonstration plant is a success, the start-up hopes to build a full-scale plant near a plastic manufacturer in Europe or the US, which should be operational by 2025.


Nottinghamshire girl, 6, wins PM award for climate change campaign 


Six-year-old Aleesha from West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire has received an award from the Prime Minister for her work in raising awareness of climate change. The schoolgirl won the daily Points of Light award, receiving praise from both the Queen and Sir David Attenborough in recognition of her inspiring campaign.

Aleesha has written to hundreds of UK firms and public figures urging them to take environmental action, raising more than £3,000 for deforestation charity Cool Earth. She has also set up a climate change club at her primary school to encourage pupils to take part in litter picking and planting trees.


UK public now eating significantly less meat


A new study published this week in the journal the Lancet Planetary Health found that daily meat consumption in the UK has fallen by 17 per cent in the last decade. Although this figure is lower than the 30 per cent reduction the National Food Strategy had hoped for, the report shows a huge step in the right direction for reducing the environmental impact of our diets.

The Oxford-based research team found that daily meat consumption had reduced by about 17g per person per day. This news follows market research in 2019 which suggested that almost 40 per cent of meat-eaters were actively trying to reduce their consumption, with many citing either health or environmental reasons.

The researchers hope that this study will help us to understand the patterns and trends so we can tailor public health policies and behavioural nudges to help people choose more sustainable options.