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Canned Polluted Beijing Air Proves Big Hit

Many Beijing residents go to great lengths to avoid breathing the city’s smoggy air, especially when it reaches critical pollution levels, but one local entrepreneur decided that canning and selling this poor quality air as a souvenir would be a great idea. Believe it or not, he was right.

After seeing a number of companies achieve commercial success by canning fresh air from countries like France, Canada or Australia and selling it in China, Dominic Johnson-Hill, a British-born citizen of Beijing and owner of the Plastered 8 souvenir shop, decided to turn the idea on its head and sell canned Beijing air throughout China and abroad.

“I’d seen people going crazy to buy canned air from Canada and Australia, so I thought it was time to push business the other way,” the entrepreneur said. “They’re perfect gifts! What else are you going to take home when you go home from Beijing? A roast duck? A Plastered T-shirt? These cans are light, portable, you can just imagine someone’s face when they unwrap if for Christmas.”

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Entrepreneurs Sell Canned Ibiza Air as Souvenirs

A pair of bold Ibiza entrepreneurs have come up with a way of making a bit of money by selling the island’s cheapest and most easily available commodity – air. “Aire de Ibiza” tin cans full of “pure and virgin” air cost just €5.90 ($6.5) and are apparently a big hit with tourists looking for special souvenirs.

Selling canned or bottled air isn’t exactly a new business idea. As far as we know, it all started in 2012, when Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao started selling cans of fresh air for about $0.80 a piece, as a way of raising awareness to the country’s air pollution problems. It wasn’t meant to be a real business venture, but it got people interested and before long, veritable bottled-air companies started popping out all across the globe. We even mentioned a few here on Oddity Central, like Vitality Air – a startup selling fresh Canadian air mainly to the Chinese market, Air de Montcuq – a company selling cans of fresh air from the French country side, or this group of Russian entrepreneurs selling air from Yeti’s cave.

But while the air cans sold by the companies mentioned above can be opened and savored, Aire de Ibiza tins are sealed shut on purpose, to prevent buyers from opening them. They are designed merely as souvenirs for tourists meant to bring back memories of their time on the island. While you’ll never be able to check for yourself, unless you’re willing to ruin the souvenir, the brilliant minds behind Aire de Ibiza claim that each can is filled with “100 percent pure air, no additives, made in Spain and gluten free”. The tongue-in-cheek description is a nice touch, but is it worth $6.5? Some people certainly don’t think so.

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Vitality Air – A Startup Selling Canned Canadian Fresh Air

A couple of Canadian entrepreneurs are capitalising on the lack of fresh, clean air in polluted cities by shipping out some of theirs. They’ve come up with a way to can fresh air from the Canadian Rocky Mountains and are now selling it all over the world under the brand ‘Vitality Air’.

“Essentially, we’re selling air,” said Troy Paquette, one of the co-founders, adding that the idea originated as a joke during a random discussion with his friend Moses Lam. They were discussing pollution when they thought it would be neat if they could just send some of their own fresh air to people who didn’t have any. And then they decided to do just that.

The first prototype was a Ziploc bag filled with Banff air, which sold on eBay for 99 cents. So they made a second bag and started a bidding war, and it went for a whopping $168. Inspired by their success, Paquette, 37, and Lam, 30, created a legitimate business in 2014. They started packaging air from the Rockies in canisters of various sizes, priced between $15 and $46. The $15 can contains about 150 inhalations worth of air.

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This Canned Air from “Yeti’s Cave” Will Apparently Make You an Animal in Bed

If the claims of a group of Siberian entrepreneurs are to be believed, their new product might just give Viagra a run for its money. They aren’t selling another expensive pill, just a can of fresh air!

According to Vladimir Makuta, head of the local Tashtagol district, air from Azasskaya Cave and its surrounding area, which is where the fabled Yeti (a.k.a Bigfoot) was supposedly sighted on more than one occasion, is crystal-clear, full of goodness, and has a healing effect. It can apparently help strengthen immunity and positively impact mental state. But most importantly, it is said to works wonders for people who want to perform better in bed.

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French Student Sells Canned Fresh Country Air, Makes Big Profit

Apparently, people will pay for anything as long as it’s packaged well – even a can full of nothing. French student Antoine Deblay figured this out over the summer, and is making huge profits from the idea. ‘Air de Montcuq’ costs 5.5 euros (that’s about $7.5), plus shipping. It is basically just a tin can that Deblay fills with air from his hometown – Montcuq.

22-year-old Deblay put up a proposal on French crowdfunding site kisskissbankbank.com. He didn’t really expect anything to happen, but the idea ended up raising over $1,000. The amount was perfect for him to set up a website and pay for packaging. When the French press got wind of the idea, they reported it extensively and helped the orders to roll in. Deblay started receiving more orders than he anticipated. He was shocked to report 1,000 orders in just three weeks. “Of course I knew it was going to sell, but not so much in so little time,” he said.

I think the popularity of Air de Montcuq has more to do with its marketing plan than the actual product. On the website, Deblay chooses to be funny with product descriptions. A blurb reads: “Air de Montcuq is 100 percent organic, it immerses you in the depths of the city to refresh your ideas. Ideal when you are in need of creative inspiration.” There’s a warning as well: “Attention, irreplaceable content, consumable once. Do not leave it open.”

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Chinese Billionaire Sells Canned Fresh Air to Raise Awareness about the Environment

It was bound to happen at some point, I guess. Chen Guangbiao, a famous Chinese businessman and philanthropist, has recently launched a line of canned fresh air collected from various parts of China and Taiwan. The product is called “Chen Guangbiao: Nice Guy” and sells for about $0,80.

It’s no secret China has a huge air pollution problem, but while authorities don’t seem to be taking any action to resolve it, billionaire Chen Guangbiao, aka “Brother Biao” is trying to raise awareness in a very original way. He has recently started selling canned fresh air collected from “revolutionary” areas of China, including Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province and some ethnic minority areas and Taiwan. “One only has to open the can, directly ‘drink’ it or put the nose close to the can to breath deeply,” Chen said. He also mentioned there is a chip in the can, and during the “packaging process”, when the negative oxygen ions reach a certain concentration the lid is triggered by the chip and closed. And since the air is compressed, it stays inside the can even without a lid, the quirky philanthropist claimed. Before the big launch of “Chen Guangbiao: Nice Guy” canned air, Brother Biao said he was confident of its success, because there are lots of people in big cities inhaling air mixed with vehicle exhaust every day who are dying for a breath of fresh air.

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