China’s pollution has become so bad that a company had to create a water container that prevents air from getting into the container.
Tianmei Beverage Group Corp designed the “Soft Water Barrel”, a self-collapsible container that folds in on itself as water is drawn from it, Business Insider reported. According to firm chairman Anthony Sherlock, the mechanism keeps the contained water from being contaminated by polluted air.
The firm, which is in the middle of an IPO worth up to $10 million in Australia, is hoping the Chinese consumers will see the benefit from the technology that keeps contaminants away from bottled water. Tianmei is reportedly set to use part of the money raised in the IPO to purchase a water plant and finance research and development.
“Air pollution has been a growing problem in China for years, and over the past few months has really hit crisis point,” Sherlock was quoted as saying. “Health is already a major driving factor in demand for bottled water, and we believe the logical next step is that Chinese consumers will want assurance that their water is free from airborne contaminants as well.”
Tianmei’s IPO prospectus cited a survey by the China Water Supply Services Union that revealed 41% of Chinese have moved to bottled water, purifiers and dispensers due to the country’s tap water being contaminated with chemicals and bacteria.
The self-folding bottle is just among a number of other products in China’s growing “pollution industry.” Some desperate Chinese citizens have recently embraced air purifiers and fresh air in cans just to get some relief from the country’s air pollution which has exceeded the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organization.
Currently, more than 50% of China’s cities is suffering from medium to severe pollution with the main pollutant PM2.5, the dangerous microparticle that is considered as a severe health threat.
According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, China’s haze and smog problem may cut the country’s economy by as much as 2.5% by 2060 due to increased health care costs, damaged crops and extended employee sick days.