Pol­lu­tion con­cerns cut fire­cracker sales in Bei­jing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pol­lu­tion con­cerns have caused fire­cracker or­ders at Bei­jing re­tail­ers to drop by 20 per­cent this year as au­thor­i­ties cut the num­ber of per­mit­ted sales days and re­duced re­tail spots ahead of the Lu­nar New Year.

Bei­jing missed a key pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion tar­get last year and vowed more strin­gent ef­forts and fis­cal sup­port to curb air pol­lu­tion this year.

Fire­crack­ers with less-pol­lut­ing con­tents have an im­proved black pow­der and chem­i­cals con­tain­ing less heavy met­als and sul­fur, re­duc­ing haz­ardous sul­fide emis­sions. How­ever, the en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts are also 10 to 15 per­cent more ex­pen­sive than regular fire­works.

Set­ting off fire­works dur­ing the Lu­nar New Year is an ageold tra­di­tion in China, as an­cient su­per­sti­tions hold that the flashes of light and sound scare away evil spir­its.

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