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Belgium in Brief: Knights Of The Round Table Debate

Credit: Credit: Zero Waste Europe/ Canva

A fairytale years in the making was brewing yesterday in Brussels. Did you see it?

A ferocious dragon appeared in front of the European Commission’s headquarters on Wednesday, firing a jet of plastic at passers-by in the aid of awareness.

The four-metre-long would-be tyrant – which I have taken to calling Smog for the sake of this intro – has made no personal demands but there were some people around to explain its motivations.

“We brought the dragon spitting plastic waste into the world to tell the EU institutions the scale and impact of the EU’s plastic waste,” Pierre Condamine, Zero Waste Europe’s Waste Policy Officer, told The Brussels Times.

Aspirations to write about dragons and knights aside, the dragon was intended to draw particular attention to the EU’s waste export policy. As Lauren Walker reports, the EU is one of the largest exporters of plastic waste in the world: six countries in the top ten global exporters are EU Member States, including Belgium, as well as Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and Slovenia. Read Lauren’s piece for the full lowdown.

Is the dragon – again, I’m seriously pushing for Smog – the good guy in this whole thing? If Smog is campaigning for the environment, then Smog is the hero? That’s just turned this whole story on its head.

So what I want to know is:
Did you see the dragon?
What would you call it? 
How does this story end?

Let @johnstonjules know (or email me j.johnston@brusselstimes.com

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

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1. Belgium’s PLF can be completed 180 days in advance from Friday

Once the paper version of Belgium’s Passenger Locator Form (PLF) disappears from Friday 1 October, returning travellers will be given 180 days to complete the document electronically. Read More.

2. Rubbish-spewing dragon in Brussels highlights EU waste export

The plastic dragon on Place Schuman. Credit: Zero Waste Europe

A four-metre-long plastic-spewing dragon was placed in front of the European Commission’s headquarters on Wednesday to draw attention to the EU’s waste export policy. Here’s the story.

3. Kanye West welcomed to Belgium with satirical tourism board rap

“Karel and Gunther of the tourist office of Wijnegem” set out to welcome and inform West now that he has an attachment to their city in the skit, created by Flemish TV show De Ideale Wereld. Here’s more.

4. Study: poor air quality causes burnout and depression

High levels of air pollution cause not only physical maladies but also increased numbers of cases of mental problems, according to a study carried out by the Independent Sickness Funds and confirmed by the university of Leuven.  Read More.

5. Brussels more populated than ever, but growth is slowing down

Last year, there was an increase of just over 1,700 new residents, from 1,218,255 in 2020 to 1,219,970 in 2021, the smallest increase in more than two decades, according to the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (IBSA). Read more.

6. Brussels Taxi Plan revealed ahead of protests

Weeks after missing the deadline for promised reform of the taxi sector, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (PS) held a press conference on Wednesday to reveal his Taxi Plan, on the eve of planned protests from drivers. Read more.

7. Diesel and petrol prices will rise again on Friday

Prices at the pump are set to rise again, here’s the latest.

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