“Remains of festivity”
The fondness of Germans for firecrackers released about 4,000 tonnes of particulate matter during New Year celebrations – about 15 percent of what vehicles in the country emit during an entire year, Christoph Behrens writes in Süddeutsche Zeitung. On New Year’s Day 2017, many survey points registered particulate matter volumes far exceeding EU limit values of 50 micrograms per cubic metre per day, with some stations measuring up to 1,346 micrograms during peak hours, Behrens writes. “This is a poisoning of the air that just runs counter to modern standards,” Jürgen Resch, director of the environmental association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), told the newspaper. Resch calls on German cities that already struggle to meet the EU’s limit values, such as Munich or Stuttgart, to impose stricter bans on the use of private firecrackers in order to bring emission values down.
Read the article in German here.