Boost safer drinking with small glasses, pubs told

PUBS and clubs are being urged to stock up on smaller wine glasses to help customers drink more “responsibly”.

Michael Matheson has urged pubs and clubs to stock up on smaller glasses. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Michael Matheson has urged pubs and clubs to stock up on smaller glasses. Picture: Colin Hattersley

Public health minister Michael Matheson made the plea, saying “too often” only medium and large sized glasses were available.

A campaign to make 125ml wine glasses more widely available has now been launched by the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP) - which brings together the government and the drinks industry.

Mr Matheson said the campaign was a “simple yet effective” part of measures aimed at addressing Scotland’s drink culture.

“Tackling Scotland’s difficult relationship with alcohol is one of the government’s key priorities,” he said.

“All too often we see only medium and large size measures of wine available behind the bar and this can mean people end up drinking more than they realise.

“A large glass of wine can contain over three units of alcohol, which is in excess of a woman’s daily recommended intake of alcohol and equivalent to a man’s recommended daily intake.

“Clearly it is important that people have the ability to choose a smaller measure if they wish and by offering the 125ml measure, businesses are giving their customers the opportunity to drink responsibly.”

Mr Matheson, who launched the campaign in McSorleys bar in Edinburgh, added: “This simple, yet effective, step is part of our wider Alcohol Framework, which consists of over 40 measures and sets out how we are tackling the problem of alcohol misuse.

“We welcome the action from the industry to promote it, increasing consumer choice and promoting responsible drinking.”

Businesses are being encouraged to support the 125ml campaign by displaying prices for this size of glass on menus, where possible, displaying materials promoting the smaller size and ensuring staff know this size of glass is available for customers.

The move has been welcomed by the drinks industry, with Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), saying: “Our members fully support this initiative. It fits perfectly with the SLTA’s commitment to promote responsible retailing and help reduce alcohol harm.

“Our customers have told us that they welcome increased choice and that the offer of small, medium or large glasses of wine in our premises will make them think more about the amount of alcohol they are consuming.”

Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said: “As an association we are fully supportive of the initiative and will commend it to our member companies, their pubs and the wider licensed trade.”