How effective are ‘green crackers’?
ETB Sivapriyan
Last Updated IST
Representative image. Credits: iStock Photo
Representative image. Credits: iStock Photo

Two years after the Supreme Court order, green crackers will see a greater market share this Deepavali. The move to reduce air pollution came after a slew of petitions filed in the apex court linked firecrackers burst during Deepavali every year with the increased air pollution during the time.

Fireworks’ manufacturers in Sivakasi, 540 km from Chennai, have entered into MoUs with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which has developed technology to produce less-polluting firecrackers.

The green alternatives come in two categories: One without barium salt, a chemical considered indispensable for the multi-crore fireworks’ industry, and the other with lesser quantities of barium. Both would lead to 30% to 35% emission reduction. It has also been proved that green crackers emit 125 decibels of sound, compared to 160 emitted by conventional crackers.

Manufacturers and scientists are clear that green crackers emit 30% less 2.5 particulate matter than the traditional ones.

“We began manufacturing green crackers in 2019. This will reduce air pollution. Nearly 80% of the firecrackers available in the market this year will carry the green cracker tag,” P Ganesan, President, Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association, told DH.

However, environmentalist G Sundarrajan said the focus should be on reducing air pollution completely. “Why are we even allowing crackers to be burst when we know it pollutes the air. Reducing 2.5 particulate matter by 30% will not do much good,” he said.

A fireworks’ manufacturer told that the fireworks’ industry has fulfilled its commitment towards reducing air pollution following a verdict from the Supreme Court. “It is now for the authorities to ensure compliance. There are cheap products that cause heavy pollution in the market though they are illegal. They should be banned and only green crackers should be used,” he said. NEERI scientists say all their products release less smoke, which will help in the fight against pollution. They said the institute has developed formulations without barium nitrate, a pollutant chemical used in atom bombs, flowerpots, and sparklers.

(Published 01 November 2020, 01:15 IST)