Baku, December 20, AZERTAC
A Canadian start-up company bottling fresh air from the Rocky Mountains has seen sales to China soar because of rising pollution levels.
Vitality Air was founded last year in the western Canadian city of Edmonton but began selling in China less than two months ago.
“Our first shipment of 500 bottles of fresh air were sold in four days,” co-founder Moses Lam says in a telephone interview with the Telegraph.
A crate containing 4,000 more bottles is making its way to China, but he says most of that shipment has been bought.
A 7.7 Litre can of crisp air taken from Banff National Park in the majestic Rocky Mountains range sells for roughly 100 yuan (£10), which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of mineral water in China.
Most of their customers live in big cities in the northeastern and southern parts of China where severe pollution warnings have become a common occurence.
State news agency Xinhua has posted a picture online of the city centre barely visible under a thick soup of smog on Tuesday and reflects local frustrations with the caption: “Heavy smog hit China, again!”
This comes just over a week after Beijing issued a red alert for pollution that forced half of the cars off the roads.
The Canadian company is not the first to sell fresh air to the Chinese.
Vitality Air sells bottled fresh air and oxygen across North America, to India and the Middle East. But China remains its biggest overseas market.
Vitality Air’s biggest challenge is to keep up with demand because each bottle of fresh air is filled by hand.