The concept of sustainability transitions towards a circular economy can be understood in different ways, and requires interpretation regarding the definition of goals, the timeframe of changes, the question of which actors have agency, and the perception of responsibility.

These ambiguities may generate different understandings of what is meant by a circular economy and sustainability transitions. In this paper, we explore a sustainable transition approach to a circular economy with a focus on the practitioners’ perspective. Our study seeks to define and integrate conflicting arguments and explanations that practitioners’ may express regarding socio-technical elements in
the transition process, such as investment flows in new infrastructure, cross-sector collaboration and policy incentives. Our study addresses the lack of alignment between the perspective of practitioners and the key messages of the overall narrative embedded in the current European agenda on Circular Economy.

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