One of the main goals of the MonGOS is to increase awareness on the importance of water and sewage management in the implementation of the circular economy model in the European Union. To realize this the MonGOS Collaborators actively participate in various conferences and seminars to give oral and poster presentations of their projects as well as publish the results of their research results. Moreover, MonGOS Collaborators also share their research experiences through different scientific and educational articles.

MonGOS publication: Importance of Sustainable Mineral Resource Management in Implementing the Circular Economy (CE) Model and the European Green Deal Strategy

Abstract: The European Green Deal is the new strategy for economic growth adopted by the European Commission (EC) in late 2019. One of the most important tasks in the realisation of this strategy is the mobilisation of the industry for a clean and circular economy (CE). Currently, the European Union (EU) is in the process of transformation towards a CE model, which was announced in 2014. The CE assumes a transition from a linear model based on take–make–dispose to a circular model, in which waste, if it arises, becomes a valuable resource. At the same time, it is recommended to use raw materials (RMs) more efficiently and to recycle them. The EC underlines that both changes in the management of mineral resources in individual member states and their effects should be monitored. Therefore, in 2018, the EC pointed out issues related to RM management as important elements of the monitoring framework in transformation process towards CE. The paper presents strategic directions aimed at sustainable and circular RM management in the EU, with a strong emphasis on the key elements of sustainable development—environmental, economic and social. Moreover, the importance of mineral resources management in the EC in the context of transformation towards the European Green Deal and CE is presented, and the results of selected CE indicators related to the RMs, and indicators that present sustainable RMs management are discussed. The core of the paper is presentation of a set of recommended actions which should be taken in coming years with strong emphasis on the implementation of the sustainable development (SD) principles. RM management faces a number of challenges, primarily in achieving increased levels of critical raw materials (CRMs) recycling, as well as the greater involvement of stakeholders themselves and awareness raising in the field of SD and CE among enterprises operating in the RMs sector. Currently, all member states are working together to accelerate the transformation process in the area of CE and the European Green Deal, e.g., by implementing national CE programs. A great opportunity to accelerate the transformation process is the new financial perspective for projects under the balanced and circular management of RMs—Horizon Europe, which plans to finance the new projects on RMs management and recycling.

Reference: Smol, M., Marcinek, P., Duda, J., & Szołdrowska, D. (2020). Importance of Sustainable Mineral Resource Management in Implementing the Circular Economy (CE) Model and the European Green Deal Strategy. Resources, 9(5), 55.

Link to article: https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/9/5/55

MonGOS publication: Transformation towards Circular Economy (CE) in Municipal Waste Management System: Model Solutions for Poland

Abstract: Municipal waste management has been an area of special interest for the European Commission (EC) for many years, especially in the transformation process towards a circular economy (CE), which is a priority of the European Union’s (EU’s) economic policy. This paper presents the overview of the Polish waste management system (WMS) and the CE-related tasks indicated in the Polish CE Roadmap. Despite the fact that Poland is one of the countries that generates the least waste per capita (329 kg in 2018) in the EU (489 kg), it still has problems with adapting the levels of municipal waste recycling to European requirements (34.3% in 2018, EU average 47%), which result from the lack of sufficient infrastructure for waste management and the insufficiently developed public awareness and behaviors. The current paper presents an inventory of the recommended actions, which support transformation towards CE in municipal waste management. These actions have been grouped into six core principles of circularity, indicated in the ReSOLVE framework: Regenerate, Share, Optimize, Loop, Virtualize, and Exchange. In each of presented areas, recommended tasks and actions were identified that should be taken by governments and residents themselves, such as landfill remediation, use of selected municipal waste fractions for economic purposes, sharing products with co-users, waste recovery, remanufacturing products or components, virtual solutions in everyday life to reduce the amount of generated waste, or replacement of household appliances by items with a higher energy class. An implementation of specific actions indicated in the paper could positively influence transformation towards CE in Poland. Because the presented examples of actions are model solutions, they can also be used in other countries and regions.

Reference: Smol, M., Duda, J., Czaplicka-Kotas, A., & Szołdrowska, D. (2020). Transformation towards Circular Economy (CE) in Municipal Waste Management System: Model Solutions for Poland. Sustainability, 12(11), 4561.

Link to article: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/11/4561