The head of bereavement services of Solihull council, Gordon Hull, has called for eco-coffins to banned following one incident that left a substance behind in a cremator.
The casket, which was made of seagrass, left a sticky substance behind after the cremation was thought to be complete, prompting Hull to warn that coffins made from organic material should be barred.
The statement has met with fierce debate from those who feel that it takes away the free choice of loved ones or people planning their own funeral.
Alan Slater from the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) said: “We are extremely concerned to hear that bereaved families may be prevented from using the coffin or casket of their choice.”
Local funeral director Bruce Bragg, of Thomas Bragg & Sons, said: “This could cost the council money, as people will go somewhere where they can have the coffin of their choice.’’
Neighbouring councils have not backed the ban and still accept eco-coffins. Bragg added: “We know that Robin Hood Crematorium is the only one that has objected to certain styles.”
The Robin Hood Crematorium, who have taken the ban on board explained: “We are not banning all eco-friendly coffins for cremation however, there are some that are known or suspected to cause damage and we cannot accept these coffins for cremation within Solihull crematoria.”
Image: James Yardley