China restricts fireworks sale to cut air pollution

The Chinese capital will launch a real-name registration system for the sale of fireworks during the week-long Spring Festival

AFP file photo for representation.

China will regulate the sale of fireworks in the capital as part of its efforts to combat air pollution during the week-long celebrations for the Spring Festival next month.

People in China celebrate the combined Spring Festival and Chinese New Year for over a week with massive display of fireworks.

The Chinese capital will launch a real-name registration system for the sale of fireworks.

"Every fireworks store will be equipped with equipment to read the customers' identification cards. We can trace the buyer in case of an accident," Tang Mingming, deputy director of the Beijing Emergency Management Bureau, told The Beijing Youth Daily.

In the last few years, the use of fireworks has come down, especially in the capital Beijing.

The number of fireworks stores in the city will be reduced from more than 80 in 2018 to just over 30, Tang said, adding that fireworks booths will be banned in Beijing's sub-centre this year.

Firecrackers will be sold from January 30 to February 9, state-run Global Times reported.

Beijing started banning the sale of fireworks within the Fifth Ring Road at the end of 2017 to reduce pollution and ensure safety.

A total of 122,000 boxes of fireworks were sold in Beijing during the week-long 2018 Spring Festival holiday, down 30.3 per cent from the same period in 2017, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The reduced sales led to fewer injuries. Only 81 people were hurt in the first six days of the holiday, a 21.4 per cent drop from last year.

Beijing deputed 73,100 policemen, medical workers, firemen and volunteers for fireworks-related emergencies last year on the fifth day of the festival, which is traditionally considered a halt to the revelry and often celebrated by setting off more firecrackers. 

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China restricts fireworks sale to cut air pollution

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