Current and future professional insights on cooperation towards circular economy adoption

Pablo Giovani Palafox-Alcantar, Dexter V. L. Hunt, Christopher Rogers

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A circular economy aims to capture the remaining value in waste through several disruptive actions such as reuse, recycle, recover, and regenerate. However, stakeholders in this transition often find themselves in conflict due to their different objectives and priorities. Cooperation is regarded as a critical feature in the implementation of a circular economy; however, it is not easily achieved in practice. Additionally, there is limited research regarding stakeholder cooperation in circular economy development. This paper aims to address this gap by analysing the characteristics of stakeholder cooperation through questionnaire surveys of two stakeholder groups with an interest in the adoption of circular economy principles for municipal solid waste management in Birmingham, UK: 101 MSc students focussing on urban sustainability and 27 businesses engaged in alternative sustainable materials. The paper’s primary contribution, being the first to survey participants about perceptions of other stakeholders, has been to gain insights into how stakeholder cooperation is key to facilitating the transition to a circular economy approach. The analysis demonstrated that circular economy awareness, cooperation, and readiness from stakeholders were high, yet their practices do not sufficiently align with this necessary foundation. That said, the study also revealed several encouraging perspectives from stakeholders toward circular economy development, despite benefits and costs not always being evident to all participants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10436
Number of pages24
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received the financial support of the UK EPSRC under grants EP/J017698/1 (Liveable Cities), EP/K012398/1 (iBUILD) and EP/R017727/1 (Coordination Node for UKCRIC). The first author would also like to thank his sponsor, CONACYT?SENER, for funding his doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham under scholarship 305047/441645.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Circular economy
  • Cooperation
  • Exploratory
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Questionnaire survey
  • Stakeholder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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