There are all sorts of weird products on the market, but you’ve probably never considered purchasing something like canned air.
Well, in China, that’s precisely what’s happening. Because the air pollution and smog has gotten so bad, Chinese consumers have been buying cans of clean air from Canada, which costs upwards of $13 a canister.
Vitality Air, the Canadian company selling the product, bottles air found in Banff, a Rocky Mountain resort town. Demand is so high, the shipment of 500 bottles sold out within a week and a half, and the company plans to release 4,000 bottles the next round, of which 1,000 are already pre-sold. People have even been so desperate to get their hands on the stuff, they’ve been buying the canned air bottles off of Taobao, China’s equivalent to eBay.
The product also has fans in New Delhi, where air pollution is also a huge issue, although according to the Vitality Air website, anyone who is “up for a late night study session, partying into the night, or recovering from a hard workout” can benefit from the product as well.
Currently, the air conditions in China are so bad that Beijing just recently issued the second-ever pollution red alert, the highest of the four-level alert system the government put into place two years ago. With so much thick smog clouding the city, the government advised residents to shut down schools and avoid outdoor activity, demonstrating just how extreme the air pollution has gotten there.
Although Chinese residents may appreciate a breath of fresh air, Wallace Leung, a professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told CNN that one bottle of canned air won’t help the problem and was not a practical solution to China’s crisis.
Although China has been criticized for not strongly taking control of the problem, the government has promised to help resolve the issue. The country recently participated in a climate agreement in Paris set to lower greenhouse gas pollution globally, which was concerned an important landmark decision to help eradicate air pollution.