Beijing to ban fireworks on heavily polluted days
China Daily/Asia News Network
By Zheng Xin
CHINA - Setting off fireworks will be banned during the coming Spring Festival whenever air pollution in the Chinese capital is serious, according to the city's fireworks administration office.
The ban will go into effect when the city government issues an orange or red warning on air pollution. When it does, all selling and setting off of fireworks will be forbidden until further notice.
The office said the policy is an attempt to help alleviate serious air pollution. It will also encourage the use of environmentally friendly fireworks this year. These produce little smoke and no sulfur emissions.
As part of the air pollution emergency plan, the city will issue a red alert when the air is "extremely polluted" for three straight days, and an orange alert when it is "extremely polluted" or "very polluted" for three days.
An air quality index between 301 and 500 is considered extreme, while the "very polluted" days are those indexed from 201 to 300, according to the city's environmental protection bureau.
Sales of fireworks this year will kick off on Jan 25 and wrap up on Feb 14, the office said.
Considering the declining sales of fireworks last year, along with a rising environmental awareness in the general public, major fireworks companies are not very optimistic about sales this year. As a result, they have reduced inventory and sales outlets for the upcoming holiday.