A restaurant in China tried charging customers for clean air

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Smog In China Reaches Off-The-Charts Levels

A restaurant in Zhangjiagang, one of China's many smoggy cities, is in trouble for trying to toss an "air cleaning fee" onto customers' bills. Angry diners started noticing the bonus surcharge after the restaurant installed an air-purifying system, and they complained to city officials to end the madness (the surcharge part — not the purified air). Visibility in recent weeks has been about a football field's length, the BBC reports, but Zhangjiagang's consumer pricing bureau decided the restaurant couldn't sell filtered air because, unlike water, diners can't choose not to have it.

The fee was pretty nominal (1 yuan per diner, which is about 15 cents), and oddly enough, the idea was welcomed by a fair number of people on Chinese social media. Either way, it's more proof that there is no cost a restaurant won't try offing as a customer fee.

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A restaurant in China tried charging customers for clean air

Smog in China as seen from space

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: (CHINA OUT) Three men walk toward the Capital International Airport in heavy smog on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. Beijing has lasted smoggy days for more than one month in winter this year with a higher AQI reaching to 500 on Tuesday which has been rated as heavy pollution. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: (CHINA OUT) Visitors play in Temple of Heaven even with heavy smog on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. Beijing has lasted smoggy days for more than one month in winter this year with a higher AQI reaching to 500 on Tuesday which has been rated as heavy pollution. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: A Chinese woman covers her face from pollution as she waits to cross a road on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. The governments of more than 190 countries are meeting in Paris this week to set targets on reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: (CHINA OUT) Three men walk toward the Capital International Airport in heavy smog on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. Beijing has lasted smoggy days for more than one month in winter this year with a higher AQI reaching to 500 on Tuesday which has been rated as heavy pollution. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A tricycle taxi rider waits for customers on a heavily polluted evening in Beijing on December 1, 2015. Beijing ordered hundreds of factories to shut and allowed children to skip school as choking smog reached over 25 times safe levels on December 1, casting a cloud over China's participation in Paris climate talks. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER / AFP / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
A magpie flies in heavy pollution in Beijing on December 1, 2015. Beijing ordered hundreds of factories to shut and allowed children to skip school as choking smog reached over 25 times safe levels on December 1, casting a cloud over China's participation in Paris climate talks. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO / AFP / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
Ground-staff (L) are seen under an Air China plane at the airport on a polluted day in Beijing on December 1, 2015. China has ordered thousands of factories to shut as it grapples with swathes of choking smog that were nearly 24 times safe levels on December 1, casting a shadow over the country's participation in Paris climate talks. A thick grey haze shrouded Beijing, with the concentration of PM 2.5, harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs, climbing as high as 598 micrograms per cubic metre AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR / AFP / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A skyscraper is shrouded in smog on a heavily polluted day in Beijing on December 1, 2015. China has ordered thousands of factories to shut as it grapples with swathes of choking smog that were nearly 24 times safe levels on December 1, casting a shadow over the country's participation in Paris climate talks. A thick grey haze shrouded Beijing, with the concentration of PM 2.5, harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs, climbing as high as 598 micrograms per cubic metre. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER / AFP / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: A man rides a bicycle on a day of heavy pollution on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. The governments of more than 190 countries are meeting in Paris this week to set targets on reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: A Chinese worker wearing a mask on a day of heavy pollution on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. The governments of more than 190 countries are meeting in Paris this week to set targets on reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: Smog is seen on a day of high pollution at the Temple of Heaven park on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. The governments of more than 190 countries are meeting in Paris this week to set targets on reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 01: A Chinese woman wears a mask as protection from the pollution as she waits to cross a road on December 1, 2015 in Beijing, China. China's capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. The governments of more than 190 countries are meeting in Paris this week to set targets on reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to forge a new global agreement on climate change. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
CHANGCHUN, Nov. 10, 2015 -- Buildings are cloaked by smog in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Nov. 10, 2015. Heavy air pollution in northeast China will continue until Nov. 14, partially fueled by burning coal for public heating, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. (Xinhua/Lin Hong via Getty Images)
WEIFANG, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) A citizen wears a face mask while walking in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Weifang, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
LIAOCHENG, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) Elderly citizens drive a tricycle in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Liaocheng, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
JINAN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) A traffic police officer wears a face mask while working in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Jinan, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
JINAN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) A citizen wears face mask while riding in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Jinan, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
JINAN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) Citizens exercise in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Jinan, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
WEIFANG, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) Citizens wear face masks while riding in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Weifang, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
LIAOCHENG, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) A citizen wears a face mask while riding in dense smog on November 12, 2015 in Liaocheng, Shandong Province of China. Shandong Meteorological Bureau has issued yellow alert early morning as most of cities are hit by heavy smog. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: Famous Beihai Park is blanketed by heavy smog on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. Air pollution in north China is heavier as people start to use more heating. (Photo by Xiao Lu Chu/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: The Forbidden City is blanketed by heavy smog on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. Air pollution in north China is heavier as people start to use more heating. (Photo by Xiao Lu Chu/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) A guard wearing face mask stands in heavy smog on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. Beijing continues to suffer from dense smog air with its AQI (Air Quality Index) reaching to 234 in the afternoon which has been judged as heavy pollution. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: (CHINA OUT) Visitors walk in Tian'anmen square in heavy smog on November 12, 2015 in Beijing, China. Beijing continues to suffer from dense smog air with its AQI (Air Quality Index) reaching to 234 in the afternoon which has been judged as heavy pollution. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HARBIN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: (CHINA OUT) A woman takes selfies in the dense smog on November 10, 2015 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province of China. Heavy air pollution occurred after the coal-burning heating systems were put into use in the cities of Northeast China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HARBIN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: (CHINA OUT) The Saint Sophia Cathedral is shrouded in the dense smog on November 10, 2015 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province of China. Heavy air pollution occurred after the coal-burning heating systems were put into use in the cities of Northeast China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
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