China’s air pollution levels have gotten so bad recently that people in some cities have been advised to remain indoors as much as possible. The pollution is so bad that one restaurant decided that its relatively clean air was a valuable commodity and started adding a surcharge to customers for breathing while indoors.
According to the South China Morning Post, some customers at a restaurant in eastern China’s Jiangsu province were stunned to receive their receipts and see that the total included a 1-yuan per person charge for “air purification.”
One yuan is only about 16 cents, but the customers complained to the city that the fee was unfair.
After investigating, officials reportedly told the restaurant that providing clean air was their job, and they were not allowed to levy a breathing surcharge on their customers. The customers could not opt out of breathing while in the restaurant, which officials said meant that it could not be sold as a product.