China's pollution is so bad this company built a water bottle that doesn't let in air -- and it plans to list on the ASX

A vendor rides on a bicycle with balloons for sale along a street as heavy smog engulfs the city on December 25, 2013 in Neihuang, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

A clean water supply in China is not enough, apparently.

With the country’s air pollution many times above the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organization, people want to keep the water away from contact with water before consumption.

With bottled water use doubling in China over the past decade, a company in the middle of an IPO worth up to $10 million in Australia says it has a solution — water cans that collapse on themselves as they are drained.

Tianmei Beverage Group Corp’s “Soft Water Barrel” is designed to prevent air contamination by folding in on itself as water is drawn out to prevent any air from getting inside the container, according to its chairman Anthony Sherlock, the former Chairman of Australian Wool Corporation and a director of Stockland.

This video shows the bottle in action

The foldable barrel joins a list of products from as mundane as air purifiers to bottled fresh Australian air as Chinese battle toxic haze and smog.

The haze that settled over much of China towards the end of 2016 and spilled over to the start of the year triggered a rise in smog avoidance travel packages to places as far as Iceland and Antarctica, according to online travel service International.

More than half of China’s cities suffered medium to severe pollution early this year with PM2.5, a type of micro particle that endangers health, as the main pollutant in most of them, according to the government. Air pollution may cut the second largest global economy’s size by as much as 2.5 percent by 2060 by extending employee sick days, damaging crops and increasing health care costs, according to a report by Organization for Economic Cooperation 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 said. “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.”

With tap water in China also contaminated with chemicals and bacteria, 41% of Chinese have moved to bottled water, purifiers and dispensers, according to a survey by the China Water Supply Services Union, Tianmei’s IPO prospectus showed.

China’s bottled water consumption has increased from 5.69 billion gallons in 2007 to 11.50 billion gallons in 2014, according to an International Bottled Water Association.

Tianmei plans to use part of the money raised in the IPO to buy a water plant and for research and development.

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