A New Zealand company is canning and selling the country’s air to smog-ridden China.
Breathe Ezy sells aerosol canisters of compressed air from the Southern Alps mountain range, which extends along New Zealand’s South Island, for NZ$25 (about USD$18 or £14).
The company’s director, Phillip Duval, said the business is “thundering along” and apparently selling tens of thousands of the canisters to Chinese buyers each month.
Mr Duval told New Zealand’s Daily Post: “The pollution has been particularly bad in Beijing and in some other cities. It’s difficult for New Zealanders to understand the extent of the problem, but it is shockingly bad. People are desperate for some sort of a solution – whether that’s psychological or absolutely, definitely beneficial from a health point of view is neither here nor there.”
He said: “It’s fresh mountain air from New Zealand so it’s no different from someone buying a bottle of water, I suppose. They could drink tap water or they could get some nice fresh water from Fiji – Fiji Water – which the stars in America buy in preference to any other brand.”
The 7-litre canisters typically contain an alleged 150 to 200 breaths of air which is collected by staff from four locations in the Southern Alps. Users inhale it through a plastic nozzle.
The firm also offers tailor-made ‘premium’ products. It says: “For special customers we are able to fly by helicopter and land on glaciers in the high alpine, collecting air directly from beneath the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps.”
There are said to be several online retailers selling New Zealand air to China. Mr Duval said he would like to start selling air to India as well.