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Cardboard Coffins Offer Eco-Friendly Funerals

01.10.2008
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Energie
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Cardboard Coffins Offer Eco-Friendly Funerals

Tri-Wall K.K., which manufactures and sells industrial heavy-duty packaging materials, specifically "Tri-Wall Pak (triple-layer board)" in Japan, has developed and started marketing the "Ecoffin", which is made of Tri-Wall Pak, in November 2006. The main material of the product is triple-layer board, while the fabric for the inner and outer packaging is 100-percent-rayon or 100-percent-cotton, which is a natural material. Furthermore, natural adhesives are used. In addition, the company plants 10 trees for each coffin used. For one funeral, about 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted, but this tree planting offsets these CO2 emissions.

With regard to wood as a coffin material, one cubic meter of wood can generate about 54 cardboard coffins, but only 36 plywood coffins, which are generally used in Japan; thus, the use of cardboard reduces the amount of wood required per coffin.

The International Paper Company in the U.S. provides raw materials and controls materials according to 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, the Tri-Wall caskets 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 carbon monoxide, because no chemical adhesives are used. Tri-Wall sold 2,000 cardboard coffins in 2007, and estimates that sales will increase in 2008.

source: Japan for Sustainability

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