Hong Kong’s COVID toll leads some to eco-friendlier coffins

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak has price about 6,000 lives this yr – and the town is now operating out of coffins.

Authorities have scrambled to order extra, with the federal government saying 1,200 coffins had reached the town final week with extra to come back.

Area constraints make cremation a typical burial apply within the densely populated island territory off the Chinese language mainland, and the coffins usually are wooden or wooden substitutes.

To reply the scarcity of them as a result of COVID-19 toll, some corporations are providing options comparable to an environmentally pleasant cardboard coffin.

LifeArt Asia has cardboard coffins made from recycled wooden fiber that may be custom-made with designs on the outside. In its manufacturing facility in Aberdeen, a southern district of Hong Kong, as much as 50 coffins could be produced a day.

CEO Wilson Tong stated there may be nonetheless some resistance to utilizing caskets made from cardboard. “(Individuals really feel that) it’s somewhat bit shameful to make use of so-called paper caskets. They really feel that this isn’t very respectful to their family members,” Tong stated.

However he famous the corporate has designs that may replicate faith or hobbies and the coffin can also have a personalised colour. “So it provides greater than sufficient enough decisions to the individuals, and in order that they will customise the funeral and supply a extra nice farewell with out the concern of loss of life.”

The corporate says its cardboard coffins, when burned in the course of the cremation, emits 87% much less greenhouse fuel in comparison with these made from wooden or wooden substitutes. Every LifeArt coffin weights about 10.5 kilograms (23 kilos), and might carry a physique that weights as much as 200 kilograms (441 kilos).

Hong Kong has reported about 200 deaths every day on common over the previous week as many aged residents who have been unvaccinated die from COVID-19. The surge has put a pressure on mortuaries, and refrigerated containers are getting used to quickly retailer our bodies.

Amid the rising toll, non-profit Neglect Thee Not, which advises individuals on their decisions for final rites, purchased 300 cardboard coffins and caskets to both ship to hospitals or give to households who want them.

“We have now been selling environmental-friendly and personalised funerals. Now we see that Hong Kong wants extra coffins. There will not be sufficient coffins for the our bodies in our hospitals,” stated Albert Ko, a board director at Neglect Me Not.

Ko stated among the aged who mentioned their final rites with the group have been open-minded and welcoming to the concept of eco-coffins.

“We hope to take this chance to contribute in addition to promote eco-coffins,” he stated.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star doesn’t endorse these opinions.


Leave a Reply