Glass ban scheme close to starting

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Related tags: Bottle, Recyclable materials

by David Castle A scheme to ban glass bottles in pubs and clubs in Weston-super-Mare looks set to go ahead ­ despite concerns that not all products...

by David Castle A scheme to ban glass bottles in pubs and clubs in Weston-super-Mare looks set to go ahead ­ despite concerns that not all products will be available in a plastic alternative. The majority of licensees in Weston-super-Mare are backing the voluntary scheme to ban glass, aimed at curbing serious incidents caused during night-time brawls. The move has been driven by a group called Businesses Against Disorder through Drink and Drugs, with the support of the local police force. A date for a meeting between drink suppliers and local licensees has been set for the end of July. And, according to police spokes-man Pete Abrams, pubs and clubs in the town centre could replace their glass stocks with plastic as little as two weeks after that. "We have the support of all the major licensees in the town," said Sgt Abrams. "Over the last two weeks, two door staff have been attacked and bottled. The pubs and clubs in the city centre are regretting that they have not moved on this earlier." Gino Barontini, general manager at Senorita's club, said he supported the scheme, but there were doubts over how it could work. He said: "We are still looking into the practicalities of whether drinks manufacturers can supply our needs and demands in plastic bottles. Certain companies are reluctant to use plastic, because they claim it changes the taste of the beer. "A lot of companies have given us backing in theory, but when you ask whether it will increase prices and whether products they own will be available in plastic, they have been quite vague." Sgt Abrams confirmed that the scheme would be totally voluntary. "We are not looking to impose it on licensees, although we do expect all of them, certainly those in the town centre, to adopt the code." Other solutions are also available. "We are suggesting that for anything we can't get in plastic, we don't pass the bottle over the bar but instead decant the drink into a shatterproof glass," said Barontini. "This could be a more practical solution than getting all suppliers to put products into plastic, and a more timely one." Diageo offers plastic and glass A spokesman for Diageo confirmed that it had products in both glass and plastic, and that it had no problem supplying either. "It is an issue that does need to be addressed," confirmed a Diageo spokesman. "Increasingly, outdoor functions, concerts and nightclubs are moving away from glass bottles. There are also other areas where glass bottles may not be appropriate." Smirnoff Black Ice is already available in a plastic bottle, and the company is set to launch a new PET bottle in July with a longer shelf life of nine months. "This could be the answer to glass bottle bans," said a spokesman. "It doesn't affect the taste of the product at all. However, we will continue to offer Smirnoff Ice in both glass and plastic bottles.

Related topics: Licensing law

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