The other part of upcycling involves technological waste and this seems to me to be much more challenging. The key term used here is that of a "product of service." Thus you don't buy a car or shoes or computer, you lease them through their useful lives, and when you are finished the manufacturer reclaims them and disassembles them for re-use as a high end product.
The challenges to accomplish this are mind-boggling. Here the authors blithely assume that it will be cheaper to re-use materials rather then using virgin materials. In the current world, this is very often not the case. Plastics can be re-cycled, but it is generally not economic to do so. Re-cycling glass is much cheaper. The authors speak of the challenges of smelting steel and keeping other metals and materials out so that it does not have to be re-used for a "lesser" purpose, having lost some of its integrity.
So designing products and product distribution in such a way that makes them inexpensively reclaimable, reusable... forever, is their goal. Given the seemingly infinite complexity of the natural world and our shallow grasp of it, designing an economic/manufacturing/distribution system to match it would appear hopeless.
When I look at the recycling bins and what people through into them with all the best intentions, but little willingness to simply read and grasp the instrcutions written on the bins, I despair.
Not that we shouldn't try.