Recycling glass in its entirety using innovative technologies

VIGO, [January 18, 2024] — Despite the fact that glass recycling can be considered as a case of success compared to other materials, there is still a long way to go. 28 billion glass bottles and containers end up in landfills every year. In a bid to combat this staggering statistic and try to transform the landscape of glass recycling, the research group LaserON, at the University of Vigo in Spain, is spearheading a groundbreaking initiative called EverGLASS.

The project seeks to redefine the recycling of glass waste through the development of a cutting-edge laser transformation technology. The project’s vision is ambitious and radical. The researchers aim to create a new technology using lasers which allow the integral recycling of all kinds of glass, for virtually infinite reuse.

 “Current glass recycling process relies on mature technology housed in large centralized facilities, consuming substantial energy and incurring high transportation costs,” elucidate Professor Juan Pou and Dr. Rafael Comesaña, coordinators of EverGLASS. “Also, there are many types of glasses which are not possible to recycle at all.”

EverGLASS is not just a recycling project; it’s a vision for the future.

This new technology may empower users in the future by allowing them to input glass waste and choose the specific product they wish to obtain directly from the machine. Moving from a centralized to a distributed recycling concept, EverGLASS places people at the forefront, offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.

The new technology developed by the project will help overcome the limitations of current systems of glass recycling. Thus, it offers flexibility, lower energy consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, and decreased transport costs.

The three-year endeavour, with a budget of approximately 3 million euros, was selected under the EIC Pathfinder Open call within the framework of Horizon Europe. The project was among the 53 projects selected by the European Innovation Council (EIC), showcasing a new and ambitious vision for radically new technology. With a success rate of 7% from 783 proposals across 33 countries, EverGLASS stands out in a highly competitive field, aligning with the EIC’s mission to support innovative research from science to technology, including ‘deep technology.’

A group of experts

To bring this concept to reality, the LaserON group, backed by 30 years of experience in laser material processing, will conduct laboratory tests with various types of glass. Collaborating with partners, an industrial prototype of a glass recycling machine, based on the glass laser transformation technique, will be designed, constructed, and fine-tuned.

The LaserON group is recognised as a national and European reference in laser material processing. They will collaborate with experts from the Institute of Ceramics & Glass – CSIC (Spain), FunGlass Functional Glass Research Center (Slovakia), European Institute of Scientific Communication (ESCI) (Germany), Actalia (France), and Fraunhofer ITWM (Germany).

The launch meeting, held at the School of Industrial Engineering, marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a sustainable and greener future. The chancellor of the University of Vigo, Manuel Reigosa, and the director of the EEI, Juan E. Pardo, emphasized the project’s importance for the university and its contribution to a stronger, more competitive, and environmentally conscious Europe.

For media inquiries and further information, please contact:

Luiza Beirão Campos ( – European Science Communications Institute.