Prague fights smog with beer

The city is promoting having a beer after work but leaving your car at home

Prague has joined in on an unconventional program to reduce smog: encouraging people to have a beer and relax with coworkers, but leave their car at home one day a week and use public transit instead.

The city has teamed up with brewery Lobkowicz, which is making a beer called Pražský chodec (Prague Pedestrian). It is billed as a the first beer to fight smog.

Fighting smog with beer is such a purely Czech solution, Prague City Hall announced on its website without any irony intended.

The program has already started, and companies can register online by Aug. 15 for a chance to get a fridge full of beer.

“We were looking for an unconventional way to attract attention to the issue of air pollution, and Pražský chodec beer is exactly such an idea,” Lukáš Eršil, project coordinator of Čistou stopou prahou (Zero Emission Prague), said.

Companies can create teams and motivate them to stay together for a while after work and go home by public transport. The 10 companies that create the largest teams will get a fridge filled with Pražský chodec for one day. After work, would-be drivers will be able to stay with their colleagues for a while and then use mass transit instead of a company car.

Pražský chodec is a light lager from Pivovar Lobkowicz. “We like the idea that a good beer after work is not just a pleasant moment of rest, but it is also a contribution to air protection and a reduction in the number of cars in Prague. So we got highly involved. Free beer to help the Prague atmosphere was the least we could do,” Pivovar Lobkowicz marketing director Jan Novák said.

The company describes Pražský chodec as a 12-degree beer with a delicate bitterness and full foam.

The campaign will be seen primarily on light-box posters and on social networks. From Aug. 20 to 31, Čistou stopou prahou will deliver Pražský chodec to one of the winning companies every working day.

City Hall firmly states the campaign is not interned to encourage people to drink and drive. On the contrary, it should motivate drivers to consider whether it is necessary to travel to work by car, or whether it is better to use public transport.

“Do not drink alcohol when you drive,” City Hall states again if that is not clear.

The campaign is organized by the Prague City Hall, but the issue exists in other cities in the Czech Republic so the goal is to get the message out as widely as possible.

The most problematic component of pollution of the Prague air is dust particles, which act as carriers of carcinogenic substances. Carbon monoxide blocks the transfer of oxygen in the blood, nitrogen oxides increase the likelihood of respiratory diseases, aldehydes increase the risk of cancer, and, especially in the summer, precursors of ground-level ozone cause respiratory complications for children and elderly people.

Čistou stopou prahou was created to promote friendly modes of transport, including public transport, CNG vehicles, electric cars, and cycling and walking. The goal is to motivate everyone who drives a car to do so only when necessary. The goal is to make the city air breathable and to keep people from wasting hours of their lives in traffic jams.

The Czech Republic has the highest consumption of beer per capita in the world, at 143.3 liters per person per year according to 2016 figures.

For more about Pražský chodec visitžskýchodec or

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