Chinese millionaire and philanthropist, Chen Guangbiao, is reported to be selling canned fresh air to draw attention to the country’s severe air pollution issues.
Some reports say he is trying to capitalize on the country’s pollution, whereas others say Chen’s idea is intended to raise awareness of the worsening air quality.
Chen is reported to have been selling the “fresh air in soft drink cans” for a few months now, they retail at about 5 Chinese Yuan ($0.80).
Apparently the “fresh air” comes from a variety of different locations and is attributed different flavors because of it, “pristine Tibet” or “post-industrial Taiwan” are amongst those on offer.
When the Chinese media first caught a whiff of Chen’s idea to sell the canned air, he said:
“Every day, we are inhaling the exhaust fumes of cars…And now we have pollution-free air to sell — a benefit to everyone’s health and longevity.”
Sales of the product are reported to be good, but Chen has stressed that the canned air venture is not just about making money, but raising awareness for the huge pollution problem that China is facing. He has explained to various media sources that he believes China’s air is so terrible that the idea of canned fresh air is no longer a fanciful or frivolous one!
Several media outlets have recently reported that Beijing’s air pollution is at dangerous levels and residents have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible. Reuters stated that the pollution was at record levels and sitting 30 – 45 times above recommended safe levels.
Millionaire Chen, who is reportedly worth around $740 million, is well known for being a supporter of environmental causes. He has engaged in several publicity stunts intended to draw attention to China’s terrible air quality. Just last summer, he took a hammer and smashed up a number of electric scooters in a public place as a protest against lead contamination.
As well as engaging in high profile, often unusual stunts of this nature, Chen has also donated millions from his fortune to charities and has pledged to give it all away when he dies.