Britons toast to new shatterproof pint glasses

By Associated Press
February 5, 2010

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LONDON - Soon Britons will be able to get smashed at the pub while their pint glasses will not.

The shatterproof pint glass was proudly unveiled by the government yesterday. Officials swore the country would save billions in health care costs by coming up with a glass that does not double as a lethal weapon.

But no officials talked about changing the British binge drinking culture at the root of the problem.

There are about 87,000 alcohol-related glass attacks each year, 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 technologies are in the works: One has a thin bio-resin coating on the inside that strengthens it, and the other bonds two thin layers of gas together in the same way as car windshields. Both are difficult to break and keep the shards together if fracture, rendering them useless as weapons.

Britain estimates that attacks from broken pint glasses cost the National Health Service roughly $4.3 billion per year.