The municipality of Hadong in southeast South Korea has formed a partnership with a Canadian company to can and sell fresh air as smog has become a growing concern in Asia.
Late last month, a ceremony was held for a plant to produce canned fresh air taken from the local mountain Mount Jiri.
Gyeongnam National University conducted research showing how clean the air around the mountain is. Taking samples from Mount Jiri, the university found a carbon monoxide content of 0.3 parts per million (ppm) and an ozone content of 0.03 ppm. The acceptable maximum figure under the US Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Standards is 9 ppm of carbon monoxide and 0.07 ppm of ozone.
A can of Hadong Vitality Air reportedly to sell for 15,000 won (13 U.S. dollars) contains enough air for 160 inhalations. The containers will be resealable with an expiry date of three years.
A source from the joint venture said the canned air would initially be sold only domestically, but would later be exported to smoggy countries including China and India.
Yoon Sang-ki, the head of Hadong Municipality, told Yonhap News Agency that he hoped the initiative could help promote the area and attract tourists.
However, the news has been scoffed at in China, a country that many South Koreans say is a source of the air pollution at home.
"South Koreans have condemned China's air and said it inevitably drifts across the sea to them. So where does this supposedly pure air come from? This is very contradictory," said @Songbucun on China's largest social media platform, Weibo.
"This is a one-sided business. They should have done a survey asking if Chinese would like to buy pure air from South Korea," said @YXxuan.
"Maybe the air quality is not that reliable. Shall we buy it from New Zealand instead?" asked @Anniehaha.