Collecting air with special harvesting nets. Photo: Facebook
Collecting air with special harvesting nets. Photo: Facebook

Air harvesting could be our freshest new industry

HOW much would you pay for a jar of some of the world's freshest air? And where would you want it harvested from?

Air pollution has become such a problem in countries like China that people are paying upwards of $160 for a single jar.

Leo De Watts from Britain is among those meeting the demand, selling jars of air collected from locations like Yorkshire, Somerset and Wales.

For those thinking the idea seems a little familiar, you would be right.

Selling bottled air features as an idea in The Lorax, the 2012 film based on the Dr Seuss book.

In the story, twelve-year-old Ted, played by Zac Efron, lives in a place virtually devoid of nature; no flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville.

Ted would very much like to win the heart of Audrey (Taylor Swift), the girl of his dreams, but to do this, he must find that which she most desires: a Truffula tree.

The movie features a scene where 'entreprenuers' conjure up a plan to sell bottled air.

Back in the real world, modern "air connoisseurs" describe different types of air, according to where it is from, almost like wine, the ABC reports.

Welsh air for example has a "morning dew feel to it" with "vibrant and flavoursome undertones" whilst air originating from Somerset has "unblemished qualities".

Mr De Watts, 27, has sold 180 bottles of such luxury air since his business started up just a few weeks ago.

Clients often request a very particular set of circumstances for their air, Mr De Watts said, meaning "sometimes we'll be at the top of mountain, other times at the bottom of a valley".

The idea is not new, however.

Last year, a Canadian start-up which began selling plastic bags of air as a joke on eBay, realised there was a real market for the product when the air sold for $213.

The company then began bottling air from the Rocky Mountains and selling it in China for 100 Yuan - 33 more times expensive than a bottle of water.