Safer pint glasses reduce injuries

Two prototype pint glasses designed to reduce the injuries caused by nearly 87,000 glass attacks each year have been unveiled at the Design Council by Alan Johnson, home secretary,

The safer pint glasses, designed not to shatter into loose and dangerous shards, have been produced under the Design Out Crime programme, an initiative from the Home Office’s Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime and the Design Council.

The first design – the Glass Plus – looks just like a regular pint glass but has a thin, transparent coating of bio-resin on the inside. If the glass is broken it binds together any dangerous shards, drastically reducing the likelihood of injury to customers and staff.

The second Twin Wall design, on the other hand, is made by bonding two ultra-thin layers of glass together in a concept similar to laminated car windscreens. It makes the pint glass extremely difficult to break but, in the event that it does smash, any dangerous shards would be safely held together by a layer of resin.

Specialist design consultancy Design Bridge used early research results from Innovation RCA, the business network of the Royal College of Art, to help create dozens of initial concepts. These were assessed by leading glass manufacturers, materials experts, drinks producers and pub owners before the two final solutions were chosen.

David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council, said: ’There are many benefits here; these new designs could help protect the public and reduce the burden of coping with glassing-related injuries. In the current economic climate it is also good to see such a thorny problem turned into a global-export opportunity for British business.’

Development of the prototypes and further safety testing under laboratory conditions will now take place before the glasses are tested in pubs and clubs.

As part of the Design and Technology Alliance, the Design Council is already in talks with major pub chains about trialling the Glass Plus glasses, which it is hoped will take place within 12 months.

The Twin Wall design will be further refined in consultation with manufacturers to investigate possible large-scale production processes.