It’s the limit of irony that an English businessman from Gillingham, who lives in Hong Kong, is selling British air to China at £80 a bottle. The decanters of ‘fresh air’, bottled in Britain, are sold to the smog-plagued elite of Beijing and Shanghai who are snapping up the bottles, promising the characteristic aromas of Dorset, Somerset, Wales, Wiltshire and Yorkshire.
The irony lies in the fact that London. our capital city. is now one of the most polluted in Europe and the British Government has done nothing substantial to stem its dangerous health levels over the years. And yet Mr Leo de Watts, 27, who hails from Dorset, is exporting what is left of our fresh air to China.
He said that in just a few weeks his company Aethaer, named after the ancient Greek for pure ‘fresh air’ has sold 180 580ml containers. He added that each area has its own aroma. ‘Dorset air seems to pick up a few sense of the ocean whereas air from the Yorkshire Dales tends to filter its way through much more flora.’
He explained his logic by saying that when someone bottled water everyone thought it was ridiculous. ‘Now you have Evian and Volvic – why not bottled air?’
What an enterprising fellow Mr de Watts is. No one would have imagined that bottled air would be a commercial proposition despite its obvious potential. It goes to prove however that ingenuity has its merits when everything else fails.
Bonking Boris, our delightful mayor, should now ensure that London air is purified by every means at his disposal. His legacy will then encompass his other more worldly pursuits that catapulted him to romantic immortality.