What are coffins made of?

We live in an environmentally conscious society. It is common to enquire about the effect on the environment. Coffin manufacture is no exception. We hope the following points will be of reassurance.

Who actually makes the coffins?

We use a specialist manufacturer J C Atkinson, who specialise in making environmentally friendly coffins for the funeral trade.

How are they Environmentally Friendly

J C Atkinson is an award winning company, voter ‘Sunday Times Best Green Company’ in 2008 and they are accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The coffins are made in a factory with zero CO2 emissions, using Green Electricity powered by their own Biomass generator.

What are the coffins made of?

The majority of coffins are made using oak, mahogany style and elm style veneers, which are laminated on to chipboard or medium density fibre board (MDF). All are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

How is Chipboard and MDF made?

Both are made in a similar way. The chipboard is made with a high content (98%) of recycled wood waste from the urban waste stream. The balance of 2% is from other forest residues. The wood i cleaned and chipped then pressed with heat and glue to make a usable joinery board.

Is the chipboard full of harmful chemicals?

No. It is approximately 83% wood, 10% glue and 7% moisture. The glue has to contain a very small amount of formaldehyde, a natural organic compound which evidence supports to be harmless in such low levels. In one tonne of board the amount of formaldehyde is than 70g equivalent to two bags of crisps. This low level gives the board its E1 standard – the best available. No other toxins or dioxins are contained within the board or are produced in its manufacture.

How is the Coffin polished?

The coffin is polished using specialist lacquers. For the majority, a water-based, rather than solvent-based lacquer (which contain climate changing Volatile Organic Compounds – V.O.C’s) is used. The polish, when dry, is biodegradable and suitable for Burial and Cremation.

Is the Coffin suitable for woodland burial?

The coffin is biodegradable. During burial it degrades without any harmful residue. You may wish also to pay attention to the types of handles and lining used, as these can also be biodegradable.

Is the Coffin suitable for cremation?

During cremation, as the wood burns it aids the process of cremation without any harmful emission. As a result of combustion the amount of CO2 released is offset by the CO2 it used during its growing life as a tree. This is why wood is classed as a Biomass.

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