Release date: 5 November 2010
British pubs are a step closer to being able to serve beer in safer pint glasses following the announcement by two major glassware suppliers about the development of new high tech glass-based vessels, one of which has entered trials in pubs.
Leading glassware manufacturer, Arc International, has begun trials of what is being called a ‘next generation’ pint glass, which uses a unique design and special production technique to create a safer glass. It aims to minimise injuries by avoiding dangerous shards if the glass is broken, thereby reducing the likelihood of life threatening injuries.
Utopia, a leading UK glassware firm, has also confirmed that it is well advanced in the development of their own safer ‘real glass’ solution inspired by prototypes unveiled in at the Design Council in February of this year.
The prototypes were developed by design consultancy Design Bridge, who worked to a brief set by the Home Office’s Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime. The brief challenged designers to ‘rethink’ the traditional British pint glass and to overcome the resistance faced by current plastic based alternatives.
Since then, Arc and Utopia have been working on the technical challenges of mass-producing safer glasses and are expected to announce further developments in the coming months.
"It's great to see that through design, our prototypes unveiled earlier this year have inspired the industry and stimulated key brands and manufacturers. We look forward to these innovations being proven and brought to market," said David Helps, Board Director 3D & Innovation, Design Bridge.
It is a major step towards the goal of developing glass-based drinking vessels which are more acceptable to pub-goers than the current plastic alternatives, and which help reduce the estimated 87,000 violent incidents involving glass which occur each year across the UK. It also follows recent demands for action to reduce glassware-related injuries from leading surgeons.
Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design, Royal College of Art, and Alliance member says: “The progress being made is encouraging - now it is important to maintain the momentum. This is a really important issue to tackle. Design has shown that it can help reduce terrible injuries and save NHS funds, and create new business for glass makers."
John Goodman, Arc International’s Marketing Manager, Food Service UK & Ireland, explained: "Following the presentation made by The Design Council and Design Bridge in February of this year Arc International has continued the work it started in 2009 on designing a solution to bring an increased level of safety to any environment where alcohol is served. Throughout 2010 we have worked closely across the industry to find a commercial solution that answers the needs of all. During the past few months we have taken the various solutions to differing levels of testing including live venue tests. Our approach has been one of solution finding and we believe that our multi-level approach will offer the complete market a solution for 2011 and onwards.”
Director of UK tableware company, Utopia, Stephen Dodd adds, “Our industry has responsibility to help address this social issue. We’re delighted with the progress being made and are in continuous and active partnership with leading glass coating and design specialists with a view to bringing a viable and valuable solution to market.’’
The project is part of the Design Out Crime programme, an initiative from the Home Office’s Design & Technology Alliance Against Crime and the Design Council which aims to use designers to inspire manufacturers to rethink their products in a bid to reduce crime.
For further images or comment, please contact:
Andrea Britt, Engagement and Communication Manager for the Design Out Crime team at the Design Council.