This article develops an analytical framework for modelling the complex interactions between circular economy business model activities and the features of diverse institutional operating environments. Developed framework combines business model conceptualization with institutional theorization to understand how institutions influence on business conduct. Business model concept is used to describe organizational activities and managerial cognition in a structured manner and institutional theory is used to identify features that may facilitate or hamper particular activities in a particular operational environment. Countries' institutional environments related to the advancement of circular economy differ from each other and therefore comparison between the situations provides an interesting context to study the dynamics between companies' business models and the institutional features. We apply our analytical framework to a case study of two recycling companies operating in Finland and Chile to explore links between the firm-level activities and developments outside the firm. The results highlight the interdependent nature of the relationship between the business models and context-specific institutions, the logics between positive and negative value materials, and the differences between countries in the promotion of circular economy.