Derbyshire coffin makers laying unsustainable practices to rest
These last few months have been tough for the Tank as the zany schemes that are our very lifeblood pretty much dried up. Of course, it's mainly down to the global slowdown - "throw money at a solar-powered bikini? In this economy?! Shove it, Professor!"
But we also hold the media partly responsible. Let off the leash for "serious season" the press have had nothing but gloomy coverage of conflicts and political scandals for nigh on 10 months, not to mention wall-to-wall photos of pale men in suits proffering red briefcases and half-truths to a disbelieving populace - how the FT website makes any money from such unsensationalist coverage is beyond us.
So what a relief it is that summer has arrived and we can gauge exactly how Hot! Hot! Hot! it is from the number of scantily-clad teenagers plastered across the nation's red-tops.
And as the mercury rises the first proper news in months has already started flooding in to the Tank's inbox, which also doubles as the recycling bin by the printer. Yes, one missive couldn't fail to catch our eye with the pleasing, teasing title: "World First for British Coffin Manufacturer".
Now like most people, the Tank has a passing interest in the latest coffin technology and burial specifics, although in our case it's primarily driven by our appalling diet and disregard for road signs.
But now we can shuffle off this mortal coil safe in the knowledge there is an eco-friendly straw sarcophagus to cushion us through death's tight embrace.
The by-Board material developed by eco Rest, a curiously capital-letter-averse firm from Derbyshire, is derived from straw bonded together with a non-toxic resin and is apparently stronger than both MDF and chipboard. For those wanting to add a little je ne sais quoi to proceedings, oak and mahogany veneers from FSC certified sources are available.
The main selling point is that "rather than having to settle for wicker, wool, hyacinth leaf and cardboard" clients can have a traditionally-styled coffin with eco-credentials.
Managing director Dale Bywater said by-Board should be embraced by the funeral industry as "the product of choice for forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious coffin manufacturers".
"We are actively seeking national and international partnerships with coffin makers, funeral directors and coffin distributors to help bring these wonderful products to the attention of the general public," he intoned, presumably while trying to stop himself from humming the opening bars from Thriller.
So now we've got the coffin and the sustainable funeral suit to go with it. And not a moment too soon - given the rate burger joints are opening in London, the big day might be closer than we realise.
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