Amsterdam ends fireworks with a bang: total ban across municipality

Amsterdam City Council has made an explosive decision to implement a general fireworks ban this year. Whew! They’re the second major city to create a ban after Rotterdam led the way earlier this year.

It’s big news for those in the Netherlands, with the topic dividing people into two camps. We have those who believe fireworks are a tradition not to be messed with in one corner. But, they’re facing a strong force of opponents: victims of injuries to hands and eyes, people who had their homes burnt to the ground, and those who have lost loved ones, all resulting from the use of the dangerous pyrotechnics.

The motion from the Party for the Animals was adopted earlier this afternoon, reports NOS. It had strong support from the left-leaning D66, GroenLinks, the Party of the Elderly and the PvdA. Just two parties were against the motion, CDA and FvD.

Earlier this year the Dutch cabinet made the step to ban arrows and bangers. However, Amsterdam’s new policy means absolutely zero consumer fireworks can be fired. The only exception is the more low-key sparklers, which we agree are far less likely to take out an eye or cause death.

How will the ban be enforced?

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema is now tasked with preparing an enforcement plan over the coming months. One tactic will be to use fireworks shows and smaller events to deter youth from messing around with illegal fireworks.

That’s assuming they’ll be able to find them, of course. Limiting the sales of fireworks is another key component of Halsema’s plan. She’ll manage this by reducing the amount of fireworks sale permits available.

The lack of a total ban across the Netherlands makes the problem much harder to tackle. Technically, without a national ban on the sale of fireworks people will only need to leave the Amsterdam municipality to stock up – although firing them in Amsterdam will still remain illegal.

Are in favour of a total ban of fireworks in the Netherlands? Or is it a tradition that should be preserved? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Tyrone Fernandez/Pexels

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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