The carbon footprint of fireworks

Posted on October 16, 2019

As firework companies prepare for Bonfire Night we’ve been taking a closer look at the environmental impact of fireworks. With CO2 emissions in the spotlight we have examined the carbon footprint of a typical fireworks display.

An average November 5th display will contain about 35kg of gunpowder (NEQ). When combusted this will produce about 17kg of CO2. To put this in context, most new petrol engines will produce about 190gm of CO2 per mile.

Therefore you would need to travel 88 miles to emit the equivalent amount of CO2 of your typical fireworks display. If you consider that represents a round trip for just 4 cars driving to watch a single fireworks display, it’s a fraction of the CO2 footprint of the entire audience.

Of course if you asked the audience to stay at home and put on the same display in their back garden, the CO2 emissions would be roughly the same but the risk factor in a home fired display would be greatly increased compared with a professional display.