Step 3: Coffins

Some people reading this may like the idea to paint or personalise the coffin. You can often save monies by purchasing a coffin, instead of from your chosen online independent undertaker.

Home Introduction Steps 1 to 5 Step 3: Coffins

Please see Packages regarding a possible reduction as you are supplying the coffin and not the undertaker.

You can use the internet to find a coffin supplier. However, there are details listed under Coffin suppliers for companies who deliver throughout the UK.

They can deliver the coffin to the undertaker, or if you wanted to paint and personalise the coffin you could have the coffin delivered to your home then arrange a collection by the undertaker. If, of course, the undertaker can collect the coffin. If not there is a UK van delivery service listed under Van transport service.

Important: If you purchase a coffin, you must make sure to ask the manufacturer if it has an FFMA, or ICCM certificate to conform to crematorium regulations. If the crematorium is council-owned then generally just the government ICCM certificate is needed for the cremation. If privately owned they may say it has to have the FFMA certificate. You can check with the crematorium to enquire what certificate is required. If you were having a burial, you would still be best to purchase a coffin with one of these certificates as this means that the coffin will be lined, and have a board in the base to give the coffin strength. This is more important with wicker and cardboard coffins.

Cardboard Coffins

I once attended a funeral where the family had purchased a cardboard coffin online, had it delivered to their home and the children painted the coffin in bright colours and flowers. The undertaker then picked the coffin up from the family. Interestingly, this was not to save monies. The family wanted a more environmentally friendly coffin and the children to paint the coffin so that the funeral would not be so sombre. It all worked very well. If you were planning to decorate the coffin, then you are often told to use water-based paints, such as emulsion, powder paint or acrylics. Cardboard coffins can come as a plain brown colour or white finish.

Approximately 70% of funerals in England are cremations. Cardboard coffins take around 60% less energy to burn with up to 90% less emissions compared to wood. It is for these reasons that some people prefer cardboard coffins for cremations.

Chipboard Coffins

Apparently, around 80% of coffins used for burial are chipboard construction with a thin wood grain veneer stuck on. These coffins can emit toxins into the earth for over a hundred years due to the resin used to bond the chipboard together.

Embalming and Coffins at Natural Burial Sites

Embalming is used to not only preserve the body but often to improve the appearance. Therefore if the deceased was for example a cancer patient, embalming may have been used to improve appearance, in which case a natural burial would sadly not be allowed.

Cardboard coffins are often not accepted at natural burial sites as they are lined with a waterproofing chemical. It is important if having a natural burial to enquire what type of coffin is allowed, in general embalmed bodies are not allowed on natural burial sites.

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