Canadian company Vitality Air sells bottled air to China

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China's "red alert" smog
A man looks down from the top of Jingshan park amid heavy smog after the city issued its first ever "red alert" for air pollution, in central Beijing, China, December 8, 2015. Reuters

Sales of bottled fresh air, sold by Canadian start-up company Vitality Air has skyrocketed. For US$14 (AU$19.42) to US$20 (AU$27.75), Chinese buy a can of crisp air taken from the Banff National Park in Rocky Mountains, Canada.

Co-founder Moses Lam told the Daily Telegraph that 500 bottles of fresh air were sold in just four days. The company was established in 2014 and started out as a joke when Lam and co-founder Troy Paquette filled a plastic bag of air and sold it on eBay. Sales have soared since, but manufacturing the product requires a four-hour drive and 10 hours of filling cans with air.

"It's time consuming because every one of these bottles is hand bottled,” Lam said. “We're dealing with fresh air, we want it to be fresh and we don't want to run it through machines which are oiled and greased."

Vitality Air only began selling in China less than two months ago. Mainly rich Chinese women, high-end nightclubs and senior homes are the company’s biggest customers.

The bottle of air and oxygen is available across North America, India and the Middle East. Sales in Canada has been driven by novelty value, however, because of the deteriorating quality of air in China, the Chinese people believe the product to have a real functional purpose. Other experts said that the product is impractical in solving the country’s pollution crisis.

"We need to filter out the particles, the invisible killers, from the air," Wallace Leung, at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told CNN.  "One bottle of air wouldn't help. I would be very cautious."

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