6 Oktober 2008

Cardboard Coffins Offer Eco-Friendly Funerals

Eco Coffins Available in Japan

Tri-Wall K.K., a Japanese company specializing in the manufacture and sale of industrial heavy-duty corrugated under the brand name “Tri-Wall Pak” (triple-walled corrugated), has developed “ecoffin (noah)”, an environmentally-friendly funeral casket made of Tri-Wall Pak. The company began marketing this new product in November, 2006. The core material of “ecoffin (noah)” is Tri-Wall Pak, while the fabrics for the inner lining and the outer covering of the casket are made of either 100% rayon or 100% cotton, both of which are natural materials. In addition, natural adhesives are used throughout.

ecoffin (noah). © Tri-Wall K.K.
ecoffin (noah). © Tri-Wall K.K.

In order to further reduce environmental impact, the company plants 10 trees for every “ecoffin” sold. Typically, a single funeral (cremation) emits approximately 300kg of CO2; the trees are intended to offset these emissions.

With regard to consumption of resources, 1m3 of raw timber can generate about 54 “ecoffins.” In contrast, only 35 plywood coffins (the kind generally used in Japan) can be generated from the same one cubic meter of raw material. “ecoffin” significantly reduces the amount of timber resources consumed.

International Paper Company in the US supplies the key raw materials used in producing Tri-Wall Pak. Its forestry reserves are strictly controlled and managed in accordance with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Best Management Practice Systems (BMPS). The company is subject to inspection and audit by SFI compliance on every operation.

As compared to plywood coffins, “ecoffins” consume half the energy, requiring about 10 minutes for combustion. They also release less than one-third the amount of toxic gases, such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and CO2, because no chemical adhesives are used. Tri-Wall K.K. has sold 2,000 “ecoffins” in 2007 and expects that the sales will increase in 2008.

Source: Japan for sustainibility, 2008-09-28.

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