China increasing cremation rates


CHINA – The state will support eco-burial and increase cremation rates in an effort to save land and reduce

funeral costs.

After life would you like to be interred in a soulless box or have your ashes fertilizing living, growing flora? China wants you to choose the latter.

Eco-burials save the land, reduce funeral costs and do less harm to the environment, according to the document jointly released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and eight other central authorities.

There are plans for facilities to support eco-burial services across the country by the end of 2020. The cremation rate will also be increased, it said.

The Chinese traditionally believe that souls only rest in peace if their bodies are covered by soil. Due to land scarcity and pollution, ground burials are banned in most cities.

The change is also prompted by expensive entombing service. In Beijing, a tomb site for preserving a cremation urn can cost from $3,000 to more than $30,000 US dollars.

The Ministry said it will strive to encourage eco-burials across the nation, pushing tree, flower and sea burial in areas with strict cremation policies and encouraging deep burial, smaller tombs or replacing gravestones with trees.