Share article:
Share article:

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

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. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

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.

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...
‘Fourth wave’ has begun: These are the rules
The expected fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun, according to Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). Belgium’s ...
Coronavirus: Ending the pandemic is ‘a choice,’ says WHO chief
The Covid-19 pandemic will end “when the world chooses to end it” because “all the tools” are now available to fight the virus, the World Health ...
‘Can’t keep count’: Instagram page for sexual assault testimonies overwhelmed
An Instagram account compiling testimonies in an effort to give a voice to victims of sexual violence in bars and nightclubs has been overwhelmed ...
Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...