Diwali is around the corner, and the debate over usage of firecrackers has begun. Despite many regulations, several studies have shown an alarming rise in levels of air pollution, increasing the risk of lung cancer, heart conditions, and acute respiratory diseases.In a landmark judgment on October 23, 2018, the Supreme Court banned the use of fireworks other than green crackers. The manufacture of joint crackers and the use of barium, a key chemical in the manufacture of several fireworks and sparklers, was banned. The court reconfirmed the ban on barium in 2021. This year, many states seeing a dip in air quality levels have imposed a ban on firecrackers, while some have allowed the sale and bursting of green crackers. This is all you need to know about green crackers.What Are Green Crackers?Green crackers are said to be manufactured from alternative raw materials to leave a lesser impact on the environment and pose lesser health risks, they are low-emission crackers free of harmful chemicals like sulphur nitrates, arsenic, magnesium, sodium, lead, and barium.Introduced by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR NEERI) green crackers are fireworks/ firecrackers made with a reduced shell size, without use of ash, low usage of raw materials and/or additives such as dust suppressants to reduce emissions with specific reference to particulate matter (PM).Are They A 100 Per Cent Environment Friendly?Green crackers are not completely environment friendly. Just like traditional crackers, they too cause pollution and experts have advised people to avoid using them as well. However, green crackers cause 30 per cent less air pollution as compared to traditional ones. Moreover, green crackers are also less-noise polluting. It is said that regular crackers emit about 160 decibels of sound, whereas green crackers have a sound level of 110-125 decibels.Green crackers have been designed to reduce emissions substantially and absorb dust. According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), green crackers are permitted only in cities and towns where air quality is moderate or poor.How To Identify Green Crackers?There are three different types of green crackers available in the market:SWAS (Safe Water Releaser): These kind of crackers release water vapour in the air which will suppress the dust released. It is said that these crackers reduce the particulate dust by approximately 30 per cent. They also do not comprise potassium nitrate and sulphur.STAR (Safe Thermite Cracker): These do not contain potassium nitrate and sulphur and reduce particulate matter. They also have a reduced sound intensity.SAFAL (Safe Minimal Aluminium): They have a minimum usage of aluminium and are far less noisy than traditional crackers.Green crackers also come with a QR code and a CSIR-NEERI certified green logo, which helps differentiate them from the conventional ones at shops.