Italian cities and towns have limited — and even banned — the use of fireworks ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations, citing pollution concerns surrounding the matter emitted by exploding fireworks, the Local reported Wednesday, citing Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. The crackdown was the latest effort by Italian governments to limit pollution, and it has drawn ire from citizens who claim fireworks are an integral part of their traditional celebrations.
The limitations on fireworks were put in place in varying degrees by town councils across the nation. Pollution was the top reason cited for the bans on firecrackers and other similar products, though some towns also cited the stress the loud popping noises caused for animals and some people as a part of their motivation.
Pollution is a rising problem in Italy, where thick clouds of smog can often be seen hovering over major cities such as Rome and Milan. Both cities have restricted car use to six hours of the day over the course of three days this week in order to limit carbon emissions, the BBC reported Monday. "In these days of major emergency, we cannot remain indifferent," Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia said when urging residents of his municipalities to observe the ban.
— The Local Italy (@TheLocalItaly) December 30, 2015
One initiative in southern Italy to limit pollution by banning traditional wood-fired pizza ovens has drawn both criticism and ridicule. Despite its size, the 6,000-person Sicilian town of San Vitaliano has one of the highest pollution rates in Italy. Residents spent 114 days of the year breathing levels of pollution that were deemed unsafe by environmental authorities.
Traditional wood-burning ovens, used by artisanal pizza-makers to cook their creations, were banned in an effort to limit the large amounts of pollution created by the burning of their biomass fuel. “Agricultural, artisanal, industrial and commercial producers are hereby forbidden from burning solid biomass such as wood, woodchips, coal and charcoal,” read the description of the banned materials, the Local reported.