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Blankets in Brussels hospitality as City trials alternative to patio heaters

Ivan Put

Blankets in Brussels hospitality as City trials alternative to patio heaters

The City of Brussels has launched a pilot
project aimed at keeping us warm on pavement cafes in the Belgian and Flemish
capital.  In November alone 600 woollen
blankets will be distributed to restaurants, pubs and hotels that offer drinks
and beverages on a terrace outside.  The
initiative is a response to rising energy prices as operating patio heaters is
becoming too expensive for many hospitality outlets.

Hospitality outlets taking part in the
pilot will each receive a score of blankets. Benoit Hellings is the city cabinet
member for climate in the City: “Brussels is keen to find alternatives to keep
punters warm.  At a later stage we may
ban the use of heaters on ecological or economic grounds” the green politician
says.

The blankets will consist of 100% recycled
material.  They were produced in co-operation
with players in the social economy.  Local
transport company MIVB too is contributing and the bags in which the blankets
are stored are made from recycled work clothing used by staff in the City of
Brussels.

The project is a trial. “We will have to
see if customers steal the blankets or whether they can easily be washed” says
the alderman. 

Feedback will show whether or not the project
is worthwhile.   

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