France to create eco-friendly cemetery space

An 'eco-friendly' cemetery space may open near Paris in September. The 'recollection and burial space' that respects the environment may come up at Ivry in the Val-de-Marne department, just outside Paris, Italian news agency ANSAmed reported on Thursday.

The move is in response to the increasing pubic demand for 'eco-friendly funerals,' said the report quoting a news story in French daily La Matinale du Monde on Thursday.

The Ivry cemetery is one of 20 such facilities under the jurisdiction of Paris City Hall, the headquarters of the Paris municipality. The request to dedicate a part of the cemetery to 'eco-friendly 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 and local wood. Grave markers made of imported granite or reinforced concrete will not be permitted.

An expert quoted by Le Monde said the only grave markers allowed would be "discreet tombstones in local wood" and described the move as a "return to what was done in the country for millennia".

Preparation of the bodies for burial will also be in an eco-friendly manner with clothes made of "natural fibres". Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's team said it was ready to create similar spaces in other cemeteries as well.

The cost of burial in an 'eco-friendly' cemetery space will be cheaper than that of a traditional cemetery, said the ANSAmed report.

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