Asian funerals go green, high-tech at Hong Kong trade fair

HONG KONG — Death is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be bad for the environment.

Caskets made of paper and wicker coffins on display at a recent Hong Kong funeral industry trade highlighted a trend toward “green burials” in an industry booming as Asia’s population rapidly ages.

Chinese businessman Alex Sun’s company, Shandong Ecoffin International, makes wicker and seagrass coffins, which first became popular in the West and are now catching on in Asia.

Basket-weaving dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in northeast China’s Shandong province, where Sun’s factory uses fast-growing willow reeds to make caskets that are an eco-friendly alternative to wood.

“Eco funerals are a global trend,” said Sun. “European customers already know about this product, while Asian customers are also interested in it and would love to learn more,” he said. Read More