The latest attempts to help curb the dramatic rise in glass attacks in the UK hospitality industry were launched last week by the Home Secretary Alan Johnson – two types of ‘revolutionary’ new pint glasses.
The two options come as the industry searches for a realistic alternative to the currently proposed option of polycarbonates which was slammed so openly by the pub industry when suggested last year. With the Home Office estimating 87,000 violent incidents with glass taking place last year their Design Council (set up to tackle crime using design) moved quickly to push these new pint glasses.
There are two options available:
Glass Plus – This uses a clear plastic coating/bio-resin inside the glass which prevents it breaking into shards when smashed. This design may gain favour with the industry as it the technology can be used to treat existing pint glasses therefore potentially keep down costs which has long been a big sticking point of moving away from traditional glasses, this technology could also be used on all other glass types..
Twin Wall – This design, as the name suggests, uses two glass walls which are bonded together using resin similar to a car windscreen. These glasses are currently a lot thicker than traditional glasses, although the designers are keen to point out they are still working on the product. This design makes the glass much harder to break and as with the Glass Plus product stops the glass from shattering into pieces. Whilst still a work in progress this glass may appeal to the more concerning venue as the beer is being poured onto glass and not a bio-resin coating.
Now for the trade these bring up some important questions which still have yet to be answered:
Who is going to pay for all of these new glasses?
Are the new glasses going to be compulsory?
Will the beer pour and retain its head as well in the new glasses?
Will beer brands provide new branded glasses just for this one market?
She short answer is no-one seems to know apart from the fact that it is unlikely that the Home Office will force these changes on pubs and bars with the financial strain they are already being put under. Also this isn’t going to happen overnight with more testing needed before trials can take place meaning we are probably still 12 months away (longer for the Twin Wall option) from being offered this option.
The question that pops into my mind particularly with the Twin Wall product particularly is aren’t they just producing an unbreakable glass which could do all sorts of damage when thrown at someone’s head? Or am I just being a glass half empty kind of guy?