Shatterproof Beer Glasses


(British Home Secretary Alan Johnson holds two pint glasses designed to prevent pub glassware from breaking into dangerous shards, or even being used as weapons.- Picture: Associated Press)

Reported for professorgoodales.org by Ken Carman

Ever drop a beer glass and then cut yourself? Long after shatterproof automobile windshields were introduced, the government of Great Britain seems to be the first to actively encourage, indeed demand, the redesign of the beer glass. But this isn’t just to prevent clumsy patrons, or bar staff, from spreading shards all over the floor where others might walk. According to the CBC there have been 87,000 incidents in pubs: Wales and England; glassware intentionally smashed and then used as a weapon.

The prototypes are currently being tested. This part of a program created to prevent incidents like this called “Design Out Crime.” There are two versions: one called “Glass Plus” featuring a see through coating of bio-resin on the inside of the glass that prevents the glass from shattering into shards. The other is designed much like a car windshield: two very thin layers of glass held together by a resin. It’s called “Twin Wall.”

An added benefit is both redesigns keep beer cold longer.

This isn’t the first redesign of beer glasses in England. “Nonik,” a bulge in the rim of beer glasses helps prevents chips in the glass that could also cut unaware patrons who sip from damaged glasses.

All for $170,000 million a year.

Two prototypes of shatterproof pint glasses have been unveiled by the British government in an effort to curb the number of injuries from violence in pubs.

The government spearheaded the redesign effort after learning that fights involving broken pint glasses are costing $170 million a year when adding up the cost to Britain’s health care system, the police and the court costs. In 2009, there were 87,000 incidents in England and Wales in which pint and other pub glasses were smashed and then used to weapons to slash and stab.

The new prototypes still have to undergo more testing before being sold to pubs next year.

There’s no indication yet that either Canada or the U.S. will follow the lead of the British in adopting this new beer glass concept.