Three-quarters of drinkers would stop visiting a pub if it served drinks in plastic vessels rather than glasses, according to a survey from market analysts Retail Eyes.
Retail Eyes also found 85% of customers believe that a polycarbonate cup would devalue their drinking experience.
Tim Ogle, marketing director at Retail Eyes, said: "This research demonstrates that the debate of plastic versus glass is actually a very passionate issue for the vast majority of pub goers."
"While there is clearly a safety issue at stake, the current perception of a change to plastic cups is likely to have a negative effect on trade," he said.
Of the 4,406 pub goers surveyed 56% said they would be "disappointed" with a decision to switch to plastic in their pub while 22% said they would feel "patronised" by such a switch.
The survey also noted that branded glasses, or distinctly shaped glasses, had strong associations with the beer served in them with 62% of drinkers very aware of the type of glass used for brands of beer.
The survey comes in the wake of All Party Parliamentary Beer Group chair John Grogan's Early Day Motion describing a blanket ban on glasses in the on-trade as "disproportionate".
By Christopher Walton