Beijing municipal authorities announced that the city is extending its ban on the evil that is outdoor barbeques, from the center of the city outward to the Beijing suburbs.
Since last May, Beijing has strictly banned restaurants from operating outdoor barbecues inside the fourth ring road and now they are extending this regulation into selected suburban districts such as Tongzhou, Mentougou, Fangshan, Shunyi, Daxing and Miyun. Meaning that people residing in the city center will soon have to travel even further for some cheap street food.
The reason for the bbq ban, of course, is to cut down on air pollution. As CRI cogently puts it: “Barbecuing is believed to emit a lot of PM2.5, harmful airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter.”
However, the general public has called this grand plan nothing more than a bunch of “empty talk.” One Internet user couldn’t help but ask, “What is the Ministry of Environmental Protection going to do next?” and another user wondered, “Will they ban cooking too? My family still uses a wood-burning stove!”
Other online commenters suggested that the ministry can surely come up with more reasonable methods of combating the city’s extreme smog problems and achieving that brilliant APEC blue sky once more.
Beijing, one of the most polluted cities in the world, is aiming to reduce their PM2.5 by 25 percent by 2017. In order to achieve this, the capital city plans to keep their coal consumption under 15 million tons, eliminate 200,000 cars and shut down more than 300 polluting factories this year.
City officials have also turned to more innovative methods of environmental control in the past like blaming firecrackers for pollution. What will be the next culprit?
By Sharon Choi
[Image from Flickr]