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Diners charged ‘air cleaning fee’ in China

In Eastern China, a restaurant have been caught charging customers a cheeky “air cleaning fee” on top of their food bills.

The official Xinhua news agency have reported that diners at the restaurant in Zhangjiagang city, Jiangsu Province, were each charged one yuan ($0.15; 10p) to cover the cost of purifying the air inside.

We know that cities in the region have been enveloped in thick smog in recent weeks, with visibility of less than 100m in the worst-hit areas, but surely this is a bit much? Can you really charge for clean air?

The report reveals that restaurant’s owners had recently purchased an air filtration system to improve the dining experience, and decided to cover the cost by passing the bill on to customers without any prior warning,

After a string of complaints from angry patrons, the local government intervened to stop the practice, and told the owners that it constituted an illegal charge. A city official told Xinhua news agency that it wasn’t the diners’ choice to breathe filtered air, so it could not be sold as a commodity.

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