1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. Synchronium
    Thousands of people are hurt each year in violent attacks where broken beer glasses are used as weapons. Could two new pint glass designs be the answer?

    Nearly 87,000 injuries are caused by glass attacks each year in England and Wales, according to the Home Office. Many more are hurt as a result of accidents.

    The worrying figures have prompted a redesign of the classic pint glass, with police, facial surgeons, pubs and brewers all voicing concern about the high number of glassings.

    The government hopes introducing safer pint glasses, still made of glass, will help reduce injuries. As well as the human cost, it also hopes it will reduce the financial burden of alcohol-related crime, which currently costs the NHS £2.7bn a year.

    Now, two new prototypes for beer glasses have been unveiled, as part of a programme involving the Design Council. Launched by the Home Office's Design and Technology Alliance, the aim is to use design to tackle crime.
    Designers say the new glasses will appeal to drinkers and have the potential to really reduce the number of glass-related injuries.

    "The British love their pints of beer," says David Kester, of the Design Council. "We wouldn't want to take someone's enjoyment and pleasure away.

    "This is not a silver bullet. It is one idea that can make a significant difference. We hope to save lives and reduce suffering."

    A clear plastic coating is the secret of the first design, called Glass Plus, says Matt Cotterill, creative director of Design Bridge, which is behind the new glasses.


    The coating or bio-resin is put inside a glass and prevents it from breaking into dangerous shards when smashed. It can be used to treat existing pint glasses and drinkers might not even notice the difference.

    The second design, called Twin Wall, is inspired by car windscreens, which have gone from being made of toughened glass to being made from laminated glass. The glass is actually two thin-walled glasses inside each other, which are resin-bonded together. Again this stops the glass from shattering into pieces.

    It does look significantly thicker than a traditional pint glass, although the designers say it is an early prototype and they are still working on improving it. An additional benefit of the design is that it makes beer easier to pour.

    In a demonstration Glass Plus broke on the first attempt, but didn't shatter. It took four attempts to get a Twin Wall glass to break and when it did there were no shards of glass either.

    The first model could be in pubs within 12 months, says Mr Cotterill. Designers are already working with suppliers and manufacturers to refine the coating.

    It is unlikely to cost more than an existing glass to produce, as the toughened glass already used to make pint pots has to be heat-treated anyway. If you treated existing glasses there would be an additional cost. But the properties of toughened glass wear off over time, unlike the new coating.

    The second model may take longer to come onto the market, but the designers say it will be durable and hard-wearing. Both glasses still have to be tested further before they are ready to be piloted in pubs and bars.
    Mr Kester says the Twin Wall version is likely to be more expensive, but says: "What price corporate responsibility?"

    But for pubs and breweries the cost of replacing their beer glasses is a valid concern, says Campaign for Real Ale (Camra). It is reserving judgment on the designs until it knows more, but is worried about putting an extra burden on already struggling pubs.

    "Who will pay for these additional glasses?" says spokeswoman Louise Ashworth. "Fifty-two pubs are closing down each week because of administrative burdens, high taxes and the smoking ban. Pubs are suffering and to ask them to cough up for supposedly improved glassware, it is not good timing."


    Glass will always be popular among drinkers as they enjoy the look and feel it, so improving safety is to be welcomed, says Neil Williams, of the British Beer and Pub Association. He describes the designs as "interesting ideas that merit further work and development".

    "We are certainly supportive of innovations that can improve glass safety."

    Home Secretary Alan Johnson believes the glasses are "an important step forward which could also provide retailers and drinkers with a preferable alternative to plastic glasses".

    But the drinks industry will not be forced to introduce the new pint glasses, with the Home Office acknowledging the financial strain some pubs are under.

    "We are hoping to stimulate action," says a spokesman. "This is our early solution. Discussions are to be had. We are not looking to make this mandatory."

    Margaret Ryan, BBC News.
    Thursday, 4 February 2010
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8495617.stm <-- also a 3 min video for those in the UK.


  1. Nature Boy
    "The British love their pints of beer," says David Kester, of the Design Council. "We wouldn't want to take someone's enjoyment and pleasure away.

    Imagine living in a world where they spoke about other drugs like this. Off-topic I know but it just struck me as quite the quote.
  2. Synchronium
    Let's just say that no one's inventing smash-proof bongs.
  3. cocoabean
    Now i dont want already crap tasting beer to be made worse by plastic cups:). Now the green activists are gonna come in saying we use to much materials and put a tax on it. What ever happened to bringing your own glass or metal cup.
  4. Pondlife
    But then you don't see many glassings after a heavy weed session do you :laugh:
  5. [tanarilla.]
    This is outrageous, how the hell bunnies around here are going to protect themselves from numbnuts? No way she's going to start carrying her golf-club.:cry:
  6. Senor Gribson
    As to cost:
    Don't most pubs get free glassware from the major commercial breweries anyway? At least they do here in Canada. If it turns out these glasses cost the same as regular pint glasses, it would make sense for breweries to switch their promotional glassware to a more durable design.

    And as to environmental impact, SWIM thinks the resin coating process should use the same, if not less energy than heat treating. As far as SWIM knows, most resins are also natural and biodegradable. Since these glasses should also last much longer than regular glasses, I see a green advantage here.
  7. salviablue
    This seems only to take into consideration one type of glassing, that where the glass is "pre-broken", to create sharp edges before being used as a weapon. I can't see how it would prevent injury from the type of glassing where the glass is held by its bottom, face against the "glasser's" palm, and then rammed into the "glassee's" face, neck, head etc...

    This is what I have been told and was made aware of when I used to work in pubs:
    Annealed pint pots, last a good while, cheap, breaks and chips leaving sharp edges - perfect as a piss-head weapon. Gov tried to get rid of them in pubs and toughened or tempered pots came in.

    Toughened or tempered pots, not as long lasting as the annealed ones, but when they break, they shatter into tiny peices. Not so good for the violent piss-head/sports hooligan (etc.), not so good for other near by drinkers either, as peices of glass can fly around the room/vicinity, depositing them selves in other peoples drinks, eyes etc.
    After a while, they lose their "desirable" properties and they no longer shatter into tiny peices when broke, but tend to retain a solid base, whilst leaving a sharp and shattered edge.
    Not very favourable by either publican nor landlord/licensee.

    I cannot imagine that the new glass pots would prevent horrific injury if rammed edge-on into a person with this new type of glass, just as toughened glass, when it shatters in such an impact, causes just the injuries it was supposed to prevent (although I would imagine the actual injuries to be less than those from annealed pots, and initially less likely to break upon impact).

    In short, bring back the tankard, make sure they're the glass bottomed ones if people really can't do with out glass, then there is just blunt injury trauma to deal with.
  8. Isambard
    That was my first thought.

    Not sure if this is something we should be solely combating with smash proof pint glasses though. I would rather attempts were made to sort out the underlying problems that cause young men and women to get blind drunk and try to kill each other. It seems to be completely accepted within society, if not completely accepted then mostly ignored.

    I realise that is probably an insurmountable task, at least without incredible social change which is not going to happen and I've seen several people get glassed in the past and it can be truly horrific so I have nothing against the idea.
  9. Garethn
    bring back the old skool beer glass init.....
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!