Context: In 2018, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research launched less noxious and less noisy ‘green’ crackers, whose use is mandated by various statutory bodies.
- Green crackers are defined by the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR NEERI) as firecrackers with a smaller shell, no ash and/or additives such as dust suppressants to reduce emissions, especially particulate matter.
- These crackers do not contain the barium compounds that give them their distinctive green colour.
- Barium is a metal oxide that pollutes the air and causes noise.
- Burning green crackers produces water vapour, which reduces the amount of dust emitted.
- It reduces PM emissions by 30% as compared to conventional firecrackers.
- Green firecrackers produce sounds between 110 and 125 decibels, while conventional firecrackers produce sounds of around 160 decibels, making them almost 30 per cent less noisy than conventional firecrackers.
Identification of Green Cracker
- Green crackers can be identified by the distinctive green colour logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO and a Quick Response (QR) code.
Types of Green Cracker
- SWAS (Safe Water Releaser): It releases water vapour into the atmosphere to reduce dust. It emits 30% less particulate matter and does not contain Sulphur or potassium nitrate.
- STAR (Safe Thermite Cracker): Contains no potassium nitrate or Sulphur, emits less particulate matter, and reduces sound intensity.
- SAFAL: It has minimal use of aluminum and more magnesium. It produces less noise than traditional firecrackers.
Supreme court judgement
- In 2021, the Supreme Court had passed a slew of directions to ensure that banned chemicals are not used in crackers ahead of Diwali.
- The bench had also clarified that there is no total ban on firecrackers and that only those firecrackers were banned that contained barium salts.
- Green crackers are permissible following the directions issued by the Supreme Court in 2018.
- In 2023, The Supreme Court clarified that its firecracker restrictions are applicable not only to Delhi-NCR but to all states.
- It directed state governments to control air and noise pollution, addressing petitions seeking a nationwide ban on firecracker sale and use.