China is offering a breath of fresh air to tourists affected by its high pollution levels – with plans to sell bottles of oxygen.
In an attempt to address its dangerous smog levels – described as an environmental crisis by the World Health Organisation – canned air is due to hit the streets.
The bottles of air will to be manufactured as part of a tourism scheme by authorities in the southwestern Guizhou province.
Air from the area’s eco-tourism zones such as Fanjing and Leigong mountains will be bottled, and on the shelves to be sold from June 20.
However, entrepreneurial types are already cashing in on the idea.
Costumed characters called Oxygen Babies have been giving away bottles, which are filled with air collected at the Tianmu mountain scenic spot in the county of Linan in Zhejiang province.
They are expected to tour the country, promoting to the new products, which are currently free of charge, and were pictured in the city of Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province.
Product manager Long Peng said: ‘The air in Tianmu mountain is so fresh that negative oxygen ion is 3,300 per cubic centimetre, much higher than the normal level.
‘The problem is that there are not enough negative ions in daily life. All the modern things we have generate an overabundance of positive ions that make us feel tired, depressed and irritable.’
The inspiration for the idea reportedly came from tourist shops near Mount Fuji in Japan, where cans of fresh air have been a huge success.
During a National Congress meeting, China’s president, Xi Jinping, suggested Guizhou ‘sell cans in the future’, adding: ‘Air quality is now a deciding factor in people’s perception of happiness.’
However, it’s not the first time bottle air has gone on sale in China. Last year, Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business and is a high-profile philanthropist, claimed to have sold 10 million cans in just 10 days, as pollution levels reached a record high.
The move comes after the country’s biggest online travel agency and insurance firms joined forces to offer policies to tourists whose trips are visually impaired by the pollution.
Source: Daily Mail