France to create ecological cemetery space

Caskets made only of cardboard or French wood

04 July, 16:25

    PARIS - An "ecological" cemetery space may open in September in Ivry, in the Val-de-Marne department just outside Paris, said French daily La Matinale du Monde on Thursday.
    The objective is to create a "recollection and burial space that is respectful of the environment" to respond to the increasing requests for "ecological funerals".
    The Ivry cemetery is one of 20 under the jurisdiction of Paris city hall, and the request to dedicate a part of the cemetery to ecological burials requires approval from the city council, which will vote on the proposal on July 8.
    If approved, the area will be reserved for burials with caskets made exclusively of cardboard, Made in France wood, or wood from the Ile-de-France region.
    Grave markers made of imported granite or reinforced concrete will not be permitted.
    An expert cited by Le Monde said the only markers allowed would be "discreet tombstones in local wood", and said the move is a "return to what was done in the country for millennia".
    Preparation of the bodies for burial will also be held to environmentally respectful standards, with dressings made of "natural fibres".
    Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's team said it is ready to create similar spaces in other cemeteries "very rapidly".
    The cost of burial in an ecological cemetery space will be less than that of a traditional cemetery.
    Paris has for some years now been announcing ecological measures that have made waves in the media, but is behind schedule on some of the most basic ones, such as the recycling of organic waste, which currently doesn't exist.
    Meanwhile, just days ago, the city had an alert on increasingly high levels of smog and particulates in the capital.

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