One Swiss start-up thinks so. Launched last week, Swiss Alpine Air is bottling fresh air from Switzerland with a view to selling it to residents of heavily polluted cities elsewhere in the world, for example in China and India.
Collected from various locations around the Swiss Alps, the air is compressed into an aerosol can and comes with an attached face mask to assist with breathing, the company said in a press release.
A seven-litre can of air will set you back 19.95 francs and contains enough air for 120 breaths – around ten minutes’ use.
As well as residents of polluted cities, the company is targeting commuters in Europe and tourists to Switzerland.
Contacted by The Local, the company’s CEO Danny Wurr acknowledged that people in Switzerland may feel “bewildered” by the concept of bottled air “as they can already breathe nice clean fresh air just by opening the door”.
But the canned air is not aimed at the Swiss, he said. “This product is for a population who live with terrible pollution every day, a pollution that may shorten their lives and cause debilitating health problems. One can of Swiss air is not the answer to their problems but it is so nice to be able to breathe clean fresh air even for a little while.
“The Chinese are fully aware of the benefits, they have to live with pollution every day and show great interest in returning to a polluted homeland with cans of clean fresh Swiss alpine air.”
Switzerland's clean, fresh air is “of course one of the main reasons why they come to Switzerland on holiday”.
Wurr said he expected his new company to become “a major world player in the new breathable air market”.
“China is already buying air from Canada and Australia, we feel Swiss alpine air is better still.
“I remember when they first put water in a bottle and put it on sale. How people laughed. Just look at the bottled water industry today. Air is already following the same patterns and the future is very bright indeed.”
He confirmed the company had just completed its first batch of orders. “Although initial numbers are small we are pleased with the start,” he said.
Wurr isn’t the first person in Switzerland to capitalize on the fresh air of the Swiss mountains.
Earlier this year British expat John Green launched an online business selling jars of Swiss air.