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Basel Carnival Confetti king explains his ‘labour of love’

Basel’s carnival is in full swing and confetti is raining down on the city’s streets. Much of it is made by Hans Rudolf Streiff, who owns Switzerland’s only confetti factory and produces around 200 tonnes of the stuff each year. (SRF,

Everyone loves confetti. Street cleaners perhaps less so, but carnival wouldn’t be carnival without the countless shreds of coloured paper – “Räppli” in the Basel dialect. 

And while the Basel Fasnachtexternal link lasts only three days and wraps up on Wednesday, it’s carnival almost all year round in a small part of the town of Näfels in northeastern Switzerland. 

There, for more than 50 years, the Kurt Hauserexternal link factory has been producing confetti for various sorts of celebrations. Confetti, however, is a scarcely profitable labour of love – the company makes its money from flags and other party-related paraphernalia. 

Hans Rudolf Streiff, who has worked there for 30 years, explains how he chooses the colour of the year – and how a recent scandal involving the Swiss Post affected his decision this year. He also responds to accusations of environmental pollution and unsustainability.

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