Restaurant In Smog-Choked China Charges People For Clean Air

Clean air comes at a price in smog-filled China.

A restaurant in Zhangjiagang city, Jiangsu province, had been charging diners extra to cover the cost of its new air purification system, according to multiple reports.

The business added what it called an “air cleaning fee” of 15 cents per customer to diners’ food bills, reports the BBC.

But patrons were unhappy at the obligatory expense and complained to the city’s consumer pricing bureau, according to the South China Morning Post.

Officials ruled it was an illegal addition to the check because it was the company’s obligation to provide a healthy environment for diners, reports Catch News.

Since customers haven’t asked to purchase ‘purified air,’ the restaurant owner couldn’t sell clean air as a commodity,” CCTV News notes. The fee has since been dropped.

Heavy smog is currently shrouding many cities in China, prompting Beijing to issue its first three-day pollution “red alert” last Monday, according to Reuters. It was lifted on Thursday after part of the haze was blown away by high winds.

It also comes as two weeks of talks led to the signing of the landmark COP21 climate change pact by diplomats in Paris on Saturday.

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