Ethical Caskets and Urns
After a cremation, ashes are usually presented to the family in either the 'polytainer' - the burgundy red or dark green plastic urn which crematoria use - or a wooden casket into which the funeral director may have transferred the ashes. We are unable to inter the polytainer, nor do we allow interment if the wooden casket is not solid wood but veneered, or if the ashes are in a plastic bag inside the wooden casket.
Families are free to inter ashes with no container at all. However, there are many alternatives that are ethical and biodegradable, including those made of woven willow or bamboo, papier mache, recycled paper and cardboard.
Companies listed here are a selection of what is available. We are happy to source any product for you, as some of these companies do not sell to the public.
Sun Rising Caskets
At Sun Rising we make our own caskets of 100% recycled card, decorated in summer flowers and autumn leaves from the natural burial ground. These are simple, inexpensive, wholly ethical, and each one is seasonal and entirely unique. You can see a few to the right, but click this link to see more Sun Rising flower caskets.
There are also caskets with The Friends of Sun Rising logo, the price of which includes a donation is given to The Friends. See the relevant page here for more information and a photograph.
Woven Willow, Bamboo and other Grasses
Ecoffins are one of the older companies selling willow and bamboo urns and caskets that are popular. These are imported, but using ethical logistics. They only deal with co-operatives and certified fair trade.
Natural Woven Coffins is the importing arm of Somerset Willow (below), selling ashes made of imported reeds and grasses.
Somerset Willow is an old family firm making high quality English willow coffins.
Card and Papier Maché
Ecopod make a beautiful acorn shaped urn made of papier maché, in deep red or leaf green (shown in the photograph above).
ecopod.co.uk - acorns
Eco-Urns are handmade,entirely personal, bespoke, papier maché urns by the artist, Annie Leigh. She can do pretty much any shape you may like, production taking some 4-6 weeks. This is her teapot urn to the right!
Tel : 01379 677344
Sunset Coffins is a Gloucestershire company making softly coloured ashes caskets out of recycled newspaper, with an environmental ethos.
http://www.sunsetcoffins.co.uk - caskets