Beijing offers free green burials for the first time

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People place flowers on a lawn for the deceased in Chaoyang District’s Changqing Cemetery.

Beijing held a "natural burial" ceremony to inter ashes of 31 deceased persons on March 25, officially providing a free method of the burial for the first time.

The deceased would rest in the lawn of Chaoyang District’s Changqing Cemetery, with their ashes placed into a biodegradable container, which will dissolve in about six months. The ashes will become part of the soil. The public need not pay if choosing this method of interment.

The cemetery can house 15,000 caskets, equaling ten urns per square meter, which helps to restore hundreds and thousands of acres used for traditional cemeteries.

Relatives who choose the lawn burials can obtain bronze commemorative plaques engraved with the person’s name and a QR code.

Upon scanning the code, one can view online the person’s photos, videos, biography, family tree and leave condolences in a message section.

In 2016 Beijing organized 61 sea-burial funerals, which is also free, for the cremated remains of 2,456 deceased persons.

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