The UK government proudly unveiled a shatterproof pint glass on Thursday. Officials said the country would save billions in healthcare costs by coming up with a glass that doesn't double as a lethal weapon.
There are about 87,000 alcohol-related glass attacks each year in the UK, with many resulting in hospital visits, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said, as he introduced the two prototype shatterproof pint glasses.
"Glassing causes horrific injuries and has a lasting and devastating impact on victims and their families," Johnson said. "I hope these designs will help bring an end to such attacks."
Two types of shatterproof glass were unveiled. One has a thin bio-resin coating on the inside that strengthens it, and the other bonds two thin layers of glass together in the same way as car windshields. Both are difficult to break and keep the shards together if they do fracture, rendering them useless as weapons.
The government is touting the prototypes as the first significant improvement in bar glassware in decades. The plan is to introduce the new glasses for use on a voluntary basis in pubs if tests show they are durable, cost-effective and safe.
Alcohol Concern, a charity working to lessen alcohol abuse in Britain, praised the new designs.
"We're very much in favor," chief executive Don Shenker said. "There has been good local research showing this could reduce the use of glass in violent incidents."
Half of all violent assaults in Britain are alcohol-related and it has become common for drinkers to smash glasses and use them as weapons, he added.
"You are five times more likely to be involved in a violent incident if you are in or around a licensed bar," he said. "There is a clear correlation."
The government estimates that alcohol-related problems cost the National Health Service roughly 2.7 billion pounds ($4.3 billion) per year.
In the North London district of Camden, where heavy drinking bouts are commonplace, bartender Mirjam Linzie said the staff at the Elephants Head pub would welcome safer glasses.
"One time there was a big fight and 50 glasses were smashed in one minute," she said. "One man smashed a glass over another one's head. One person's eye was popping out. It was a bloodbath. There was glass raining. People were hiding behind the counter."
2010-02-09 19:28 编辑：kuaileyingyu