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Managing Editor  | May 2017

Italian company creates biodegradable plastic casket

An Italian startup is working on a new project that will make burial a more sustainable process by turning away from traditional casket materials such as metal, wood, and synthetic cushioning that will take decades or longer to break down and replacing them with a biodegradable plastic pod.



Capsula Mundi has two plastic urns that are currently for sale online.
(Capsula Mundi)


The Capsula Mundi, “world’s capsule” in Latin, is shaped like and egg and can be used for ashes or for bodies. The capsules would be buried with a tree planted above as a memorial. As the capsule’s material breaks down, the nutrients in the remains would be released and provide food for the growing sapling.


The designers want you to imagine cemeteries filled with trees rather than gravestones.


According to the website, “A tree, chosen in life by the deceased, will be planted on top of it and serve as a memorial for the departed and as a legacy for posterity and the future of our planet. Family and friends will continue to care for the tree as it grows. Cemeteries will acquire a new look and, instead of the cold grey landscape we see today, they will grow into vibrant woodlands.”


The project was recently featured by CNN, which noted that there is an increasing interest in “green burials” in the past few years but that there are legal concerns to this type of process in some countries, including Italy.


The Capsula Mundi website explained, “In a culture far removed from nature, overloaded with objects for the needs of daily life and focused on youth, death is often dealt with as a taboo. We believe that this unavoidable passage, so meaningful, is not the end, but the beginning of a way back to nature.” 


The idea was first exhibited in 2003 and a Capsula Mundi urn can now be purchased online at http://www.capsulamundi.it/en/buy-online-your-capsula-mundi-urn

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