It might seem to make as much sense as a glass ice cube or a rubber hammer, but in fact glass made from plastic is an excellent idea. Or, more accurately, plastic glasses. I'm not talking here about the plastic glasses you wear on your face to look like a clown, but the ones you drink from at parties. In fact the concept of plastic pint glasses and even plastic wine glasses was originally introduced into pubs, clubs and bars for health and safety reasons.
This was primarily for those pubs which had outdoor seating or outdoor drinking areas, because a dropped glass made from real glass will almost certainly shatter. This in itself is a health hazard but since many pubs with outdoor gardens or seating also allow dogs and children in to those areas, broken shards of glass clearly represent a real hazard. Plastic glasses, including plastic half pint glasses for squash and juice, mean that the worst that can happen if a drink gets spilled is that someone ends up with a wet foot. And a slightly higher drinks bill too of course. But why should this idea be limited to pubs and clubs?
For many of us the same principle applies to parties and barbecues we have at home. Unless you have a fairly odd arrangement going on, you almost certainly hold your barbecues outside, usually on a patio area. Combine an outdoor party with patio paving, hot food, alcohol, a relaxed atmosphere and precariously balanced wine glasses and drinks glasses on walls, wobbly patio tables and raised borders, and you have the perfect recipe for cut fingers, sliced toes and a general tendency for more tomato ketchup than would normally be seen. Add dogs and children into the equation and it could be pretty unpleasant. Plastic drinks glasses are therefore an ideal solution to help ensure that the only liquid being spilled onto your patio is drink, rather than blood.
Although pubs and bars have been serving drinks in plastic pint glasses for years, very few retailers have offered the same level of convenience and safety for those holding parties at home. Plastic glasses for drinks have often been limited to those white plastic things which look perfectly innocent, but which have a disastrous design flaw. The walls of these white cups are often so thin and flimsy than as soon as you go to pick the drink up your fingers clasp something less substantial than air, causing the cup to flatten and your drink to spurt up over anything within a two foot radius. It's fun, but hardly practical.
Fortunately plastic glasses today are rather more practical, and also considerably more diverse than in the past. From plastic pint glasses to plastic half pint glasses, plastic wine glasses and even plastic champagne flutes, not only do these plastic glasses look suspiciously like their glass counterparts, but they are firm and substantial enough to both contain your drink safely, and allow you to pick it up safely too - a combination of features that's been missing for quite a long time. Because these plastic drinks glasses are so much more sturdy it's even possible to wash them up and re-use them, although at the price it hardly seems to matter.
Certainly if they get dropped, knocked or kicked over they're not going to shatter, saving your party from becoming like a scene from Casualty. Whether you go for the amazingly convincing plastic Martini glass (shaken, not shattered) or a traditional plastic pint glass, you can safely raise your drinks at your next party without ending up playing the time-honoured game of Hunt the Finger in the rhododendrons.