Pollution concerns cut firecracker sales in Beijing
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.