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Friday 22nd June 2018

Call to replace alcohol glass with plastic

24th September 2010

A call has been made for alcohol to be served more often in plastic glasses and bottles to reduce the injury from violent attacks.


Dr Alasdair Forsyth from the Glasgow Centre for the Study of Violence believes the move would eliminate glass as a weapon.

The plea comes amid evidence suggesting that glass-related violence costs the NHS, police and courts £100m a year.

Addressing the World Safety Conference in London, Dr Forsyth said: "Milk is commonly sold in cartons, soft drinks in plastic and hot drinks in ceramics.

"The one category of drink still commonly sold or served in glass vessels is alcohol, paradoxically the only beverage type associated with an increased risk of accidents and serious violence. It is much easier to eliminate glass used as a weapon than knives."

Research shows young people do not mind plastic bottles, though the over-40s were resistant.

With trials of polycarbonate glasses in three Lancashire towns in 2009, the number of violent incidents did not decrease but injuries fell significantly.

In Hull, the introduction of polycarbonate saved the NHS some £7m through a fall in eye injuries, according to a local eye surgeon.

The drinks industry said a “proportionate response” was needed to tackle the issue of glassing injuries.

Jeremy Beadles, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “A blanket ban on glass packaging for alcohol would affect shops, restaurants, pubs and consumers without helping to tackle the situations where problems occur.”

He said the industry had already introduced shatter-resistant glass or plastic in higher risk situations.


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