Venezuela’s cardboard coffins

VALENCIA, Venezuela (Reuters) – When Venezuelan entrepreneurs Alejandro Blanchard and Elio Angulo decided to create cardboard coffins, they were looking for an ecological selling point to compete against classic wood and brass caskets.

Three years on, with the oil-rich country mired in deep economic crisis, their “bio-coffins” are becoming a viable option because of high prices for wooden coffins and shortages of brass ones.

Blanchard and Angulo are offering their product in funeral homes in Venezuela, home to one of the world’s highest murder rates, and business is looking promising.

“Death impoverishes the masses … and the bio-coffin is a solution for this crisis Venezuela is suffering,” said Blanchard before presenting his goods in a funeral home in the central city of Valencia.

Biodegradable coffins are in vogue in Europe and the United States, but they are also finding a niche in Venezuela in the face of shortages, triple-digit annual inflation and a deep recession.

A wooden coffin in Venezuela can cost 280,000 bolivars, equivalent to about a year of earnings at minimum wages and about four times that of a biodegradable coffin.  MORE

25 Comments on Venezuela’s cardboard coffins

  1. The commie-coffin is made of cheap cardboard. You’re not supposed to be left with anything when you die a socialist. Not even wood, you slaves!

  2. ‘Eco’ coffins. Makes me think of Western people eating crickets – they think it’s such a cool fad, but actually 3rd-worlders only eat them because they are starving.

  3. The final Socialist indignity.

    50 gallon lawn trash bags will be next.

    And after that, Soylent Green.

  4. The vast majority of people are buried in a plywood box.
    The coffin you see lowered into the ground is almost always taken back out (it is just a covering that looks identical to the presentation coffin at the wake.
    You can tell at the funeral if they are going to remove it for reuse. If a cloth is tossed over it before it is buried, it is coming back out. Some places even leave the lowering cables attached and only throw a few shovels full of dirt on it, completing the job after everyone leaves.
    I did electrical work for a guy that ran a funeral home. He owned 18 Caskets. He told me that with proper care each one can do 60-80 funerals, and usually what takes them out of service is being dropped by pallbearers with the body inside. That often dings a corner badly enough that a repair shows.

  5. Reminds me of the 5 body plastic FEMA coffins.
    Come to the FEMA camp and find Pokeyman….

  6. You can make your own casket. Mine will be made of pine.

    And anybody who has ever been a pallbearer at a funeral knows that ^^ ” (it is just a covering ” is pure bullshit. They would shut down the funeral parlor and the owner would do some time over anything like that. You pay for a casket, you get that casket.

    Make your own and bypass the expensive funeral parlors. Tell your family to use the money they save to throw a party. You don’t even have to be embalmed in my state if you are buried soon enough. Check your state laws.

  7. Mr. pallbearer, yes I have been one.
    Did you inspect the coffin, inside and out during the ceremony?
    Did you stay and watch the filling, compacting, and grass installation?
    As I said, though, some are buried in the casket, most are not.
    As to the law, have you fully read a burial agreement?
    You might want to before you make brash statements. Some even allow for removal of gold from the deceased teeth and removal of jewelry.

  8. You are full of shit JS. I’ve done thorough research on the subject. Of course, I don’t live in the nutbagger-faggot capitol of the world like you do. lol. No telling what goes on there, and NO, I don’t care. And I don’t need any fucking “burial agreement”, I can be buried on my own land. Try doing that out there in faggot-land. Freedom doesn’t mean shit to you full-time trolls.

  9. Why don’t you leave us for, say, a month or two and think about that question JS. And don’t bother hurrying back with an answer, I’m pretty sure nobody here wants to hear it.

  10. No intention of needing funeral services soon but if there’s a democrat in the White House when I croak…strip me naked and shoot me from a cannon onto the north portico when the sultan of Saudi Arabia comes calling.

    If reason prevails and there isn’t a dem in office….
    Paper or plastic? Don’t spend money on stupid shit. My soul is headed to a well deserved location. Flesh and bones? Who cares?

  11. I’ve already made our plans. Cremation… sprinkle my ashes in the Caribbean, if you want to visit, might as well have a beautiful vacation. The husband’s cremains will be pressed into a mineral salt block for the whitetail deer on the family land, forever in his happy place.

    Please no funeral parlors…. Lord no….

  12. @JohnS: If what you say is true, how do you explain all the coffins washed up during the recent LA. flooding?

    Also, sooner or later, there would be a court-ordered exhumation of one of the bodies where the coffin was switched, and then someone’s going go to jail. Not worth the risk.

    (P.S. – Remember, paranoia can destroy ya.)


  13. I have buddy who is a funeral guy, he does embalming, dressing, makeup and such.
    Has a coffin in his living room as a coffee table. I asked him where he got it. According to a person who actually knows, when a family decides they don’t want a relative buried in such a shabby coffin and buy a new one, the funeral home cannot reuse the old one if it had a body in it.
    JohnS beez trippin’ ‘gin.

    Song to be played at my funeral.
    Won’t need a coffin.

  14. I have arranged three very different types of “final arrangements”. First was my brother who passed aged 47. He had told me he wanted a NATURAL burial. As we live in NY I told him he was nuts, no way would NY allow such a thing – turns out NY allows such a thing. There is a cemetery dedicated for natural burials. Rules: No embalming. “Casket” options: none, willow (expensive), simple wood box with no metal or glues (dovetail), and I think they do allow for a cardboard container. Burial must be done asap, as the un-embalmed body will get all wonky fast, usually 48 hours after death if you can’t keep remains refrigerated. Clothed? Natural fabrics, no metal if possible. (When we had him buried the family could dig the grave, and fill it back in – I think they have stopped that in order to cash in on the open/close fees.) The person could even be naked, wrapped in a sheet, and lowered into the ground. Done. (They allowed our family to lower my brother.) Now that such burials are catching on that place has doubled it’s fees. Go figure.
    What I did for him was a “family viewing” at a nice funeral home, which is allowed in NY if the deceased is NOT embalmed, but is restricted to immediate family members. I chose the plain pine casket (surprisingly nice), made a shroud (looked like a damn straight-jacket), got a decent outfit for him. I did those things for his young adult childrens sake. Then up he went to the cemetery, where we had a Native American burial service for him. It was kind of beautiful in a lot of ways.

    Second final arrangement, my mother. She insisted that her body be donated to a medical collage. We did do that. It takes more paperwork than you might imagine, and they have strict guidelines on what they want/don’t want. And we had to pay for her transport. They cremated her remains and returned them at no charge. They have been riding around in my aunts trunk for the last six months. I am going to Walmart today to pick up the Basset Hound Cookie Jar, which will be her urn. She loved Bassets.

    Which brings me to the next type: no frills, extra inexpensive, direct burial. My fathers funeral was on the 16th. He went downhill in one day, then was gone. Now, years ago I splashed out and brought him the grave-site of his dreams. He wanted one in the “rich section”, and I indulged him. But he let his insurance lapse, so nothing to bury him with! This may sound awful, but we worked out the cheapest possible burial. “Scratch and dent” coffin, no embalming, no viewing, no obit, transport in van instead of hearse, and we had a Priest do a lovely graveside service. I did order a nice casket spray. It turned out to be a very decent service, and one I am positive my Pop would have approved. He was into bargains.

  15. GrandeMe, that’s very nice what you did for your family members.
    Sorry for your loss.
    And thanks for that info on NY natural burials, I had no idea they did that there.

  16. Thank you for the kind words Unruly refugee.

    I believe there are two Natural Burial cemeteries in NY, the one my brother is in is at Newfield, near Ithaca.

    I advise everyone to take the time to “shop” out funeral homes (prices and services), and find out what is/is not required in your state. In NY for example, a regular cemetery is not required, by the state, to have a cement vault in each plot. HOWEVER the cemetery can, and most do, make that a requirement. It can run from $1100. to $1500. on average, in addition to the cost of the plot, and open/closing of the grave at burial. The one my Pop is in said that they require vaults because it prevents collapse of graves after the caskets break down many years after burial. Though that is rare, LOL. They like to scare you.

    I am so glad that I learned every thing I did about the pricing and what is required/not required. It empowered me to be strong enough to USE that knowledge when it came time to arrange for my Pop. For example, I called three different funeral homes (NY requires funeral homes handle the transport/paperwork for deceased) and asked what their bare bones “direct burial” costs would be. None of them knew that I had done a lot of research already. The first said $5200.~$5400. for the cost to transport/paperwork/cheapest casket/vault. Separate costs to me: burial plot (had one) and open/close of grave, $750.ish, and headstone. That one would have been about $8300. all told, with simple casket floral. Keep in mind, NO viewing, no service, no obit, and just van transport!
    Second one, same exact arrangements, $3600., ($4350. w/open and close fee) for just the funeral home costs, so a $1600. difference in one phone call! WOW.
    The one we chose did all, including the Priest and the plot open/close costs for $3800.,so $550. less than the second place. Which we put towards a nice donation to the Priest, and a small memorial luncheon.
    Think about that – a difference of $2350.00 if we compare exact services between the first funeral home and the one we went with. The end resulting funeral would have been exactly the same from the more expensive place. Exactly.

    And if you have a loved one in a nursing home do your calling around in advance because most of them want your person picked up by a funeral home within hours of death – and they might be nasty about it. They try to push you to call ANY funeral home in the phone book, right away, and want to SHAME you if you tell them you need to call a few to pick out the one best suited for your family. Trust me on that!


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