It’s no secret that there’s a serious air pollution problem in China — so much so, that residents living in many parts of the country are often advised to stay indoors. In fact, clear air has become such a luxury that there’s a restaurant near Shanghai that is actually trying to charge for it.
According to The New York Times, a restaurant in Zhangjiagang has been adding 1 renmindi (or 15 cents) per customer to bills as a “clear air fee.”
Surprisingly, on social media, there was a debate about whether the restaurant, Jing Yue Hui, could or should actually get away with something like this. Some people argued that clear air is a basic right, while others said the fee was to cover the additional costs the restaurant has from installing air purifiers. “I am willing to give an extra yuan [for purifying the air],” one person wrote on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
Apparently, the restaurant has stopped adding the fee to bills.
While other restaurants have not been noted as charging for clean air, this situation brings to light the dire need for China to somehow work to control its pollution. At the time this article was published, Beijing’s PM2.5, or particle matter, in the air was 189, or as the website states “unhealthy.”
Do you think the restaurant should be able to charge for clean air due to China’s air pollution?