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Wednesday 20.11.2019 | Name days: Anda, Andīna
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Lithuanian respect for lost loved ones results in tons of cemetery candle waste

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All Soul’s Day, a Lithuanian holiday marked on November 2, is a time for remembering a lost relative and lighting a candle in their memory. But could Lithuanians be overdoing it by buying excessive amounts of candles that end up in tons of plastic and glass waste?

Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports on Friday, November 1, that people interviewed by LRT TV said they thought more about tradition than environment.

It is different for Darius Jakutonis, who works at a company managing cemeteries in Vilnius.

Darius feels that sometimes they overdo with the candles around the period of All Soul’s Day.

«Everyone is bringing as many as they can, so that their grave is best-lit, better than the next one,» he tells LRT TV. «Perhaps it’s their way of expressing love? People are bringing not one candle, but boxes.»

Candles in glass and plastic containers add to the waste. Darius’ firm, Stebulė, takes out about 200 tons of waste a month from the 25 cemeteries it manages. But in late October and early November, the amount triples.

Supermarket chains have also noticed that candle sales are growing every year, although sustainable products are also increasing in popularity.

«Last year, we sold 12 percent more candles than in 2017,» says Rima Aukštuolytė, a spokeswoman for the Maxima chain. «The peak is during the last two weeks of October and one person bought on average 10 candles.»

The article originally appeared on LRT English: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1111356/glowing-environmental-impacts-of-lithuania-s-all-soul-s-day


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