By Ross Bentley
Friday, March 8, 2013
A CAMPAIGN to ban glasses from some drinking venues has received backing from leading figures in Essex.
Colchester MP Bob Russell has supported the proposal, as has the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston.
The idea of replacing glass drinking containers and bottles with those made from polycarbonate has been gathering momentum since Wrexham MP Ian Lucas introduced his Plastic Glasses and Bottles (Mandatory Use) Bill to the House of Commons last September. Then, in December, campaigner Marjorie Golding from Milton Keynes, submitted a petition of 115,000 signatures to Downing Street urging parliament to debate the issue.
Ms Golding, whose son Blake was badly glassed in the face in 2004, has set up the so-called POP campaign. She visited Sir Bob last month at his Colchester constituency to urge him to support her.
She said; “As the law stands at the moment, the authorities have the power to introduce polycarbonate glasses if a venue has a record of violent incidents but this approach means there has to be a victim before anything is done.
“We want to see it compulsory that nighclubs and late-night pubs have to use polycarbonate glasses.”
Ms Golding said polycarbonate glasses are firm and can be used repeatedly, so there is not a cost to the drinking establishment.
The measures have already been introduced in Hull where, Ms Golding claims, the NHS has saved £7.2 million on eye surgery costs in one year.
She added: “Unless you have had someone near you suffer an attack with a glass bottle, you don’t know the extent of the impact both physically and psychologically.
Sir Bob said: “Glass costs a lot in terms of people having to visit A&E because of injury due to accidents or violence but a polycarbonate bottle can’t be used as a weapon.
“I had my first experience of drinking from a polycarbonate bottle at the Parlympics last year. It looked the same and tasted the same. It’s the contents you are buying not the bottle.”
He added: “Polycarbonate containers are also less weighty than glass and are therefore cheaper to transport. They should be encouraged in venues where there are a lot of people, such as concerts, sporting arenas and mega-pubs.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston, said he was also backing the campaign.
He said: “I have been contacted by many people and organisations, but the one I have chosen to support is the campaign to get rid of glasses. I have been out in town centres with the Street Pastors, and removing glass from the environment seems a really good thing to do.”
Visit wwww.pop-campaign.co.uk for more about Mrs Golding’s campaign