Rowdy pubs may have to serve beer in plastic glasses

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The Independent Online

Rowdy city centre pubs could be forced to serve drinks in plastic glasses and bottles or face closure. The plan has been floated by the Government as a way of stopping revellers leaving a trail of broken glass around popular bars.

Rowdy city centre pubs could be forced to serve drinks in plastic glasses and bottles or face closure. The plan has been floated by the Government as a way of stopping revellers leaving a trail of broken glass around popular bars.

Ministers believe such a move could cut disorder, noise and litter. One option is to ask local authorities to grant licences to the worst pubs only if they ban glass.

The plan was signalled in a government consultation document on ways of reducing the anti-social side-effects of heavy drinking. It says: "The most visible effect many of us see from alcohol misuse is in our town and city centres: pavements littered with broken bottles and streets too intimidating to pass through."

Some drinking-spots, such as nightclubs and pubs near football grounds, already serve alcohol in plastic containers. Several councils are known to be considering issuing a similar instruction to busy pubs.

Their experience will be studied by the Downing Street strategy unit and the Department of Health. They will publish plans for reducing the anti-social impact of alcohol early next year.

The proposal was attacked by Nick Bish, the chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, which represents 100 companies with 27,000 pubs, bars and restaurants. He said: "It's a knee-jerk reaction to a particular issue. There is a real world out there in which violence plays a part, but the solution is to create an environment in which violence is diminished." He said plastic "doesn't resonate with conviviality and hospitality".

Other ideas being studied include whether improving late-night public transport could reduce rowdiness and whether policing methods could be altered to deal with drunks more effectively.

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