Charging you for the air that you breathe may not be just a threat anymore after one Chinese restaurant attempted it recently. A restaurant in the Jiangsu Province of eastern China has been caught charging patrons for clean air.
The region is one of the worst hit by the smog that has enveloped vast parts of China in the last few weeks, damaging people’s health and reducing visibility to less than 100m. But the owners of one restaurant in Zhangjiagang found a way of getting by. They installed a clean air filtration system and then added an extra cost to the service, charging all customers an ‘air cleaning fee’ of around $0.15 to cover the costs of the machine.
After a number of customers protested to the authorities about the charge, saying they had not been told prior to sitting down and eating that there would be an extra charge, the restaurant was warned that the fee was illegal as the customers had not ‘chosen’ to breathe in the clean air and subsequently couldn’t be asked to pay for it.
However, many welcomed the idea of restaurants with an air filtration system and took to Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo to state that they would be more than happy to pay for clean air.