Across most of the U.S., as a rule, a corpse which is to be cremated must be placed in a container for cremation. This can be as plain as a corrugated cardboard box or as decorative as a wooden coffin.
Most casket suppliers offer a full line of caskets specifically made for cremation. Nevertheless, you will find one that you like for purposes of a traditional funeral service or viewing.
In this case, one option is a cardboard box that fits inside a wooden shell designed to look like a traditional casket. After the funeral service, the interior box is removed from the shell before cremation. This allows the more expensive wooden shell to be reused.
Funeral homes also offer rental caskets, which are traditional caskets used only for the duration of the services. After the services, the body is transferred to another container for cremation. Sometimes the liner in which the body has been placed (usually a fabric-covered cardboard, casket-shaped container) is a suitable container for cremation. Each time a rental casket is employed, a new liner is used. Very often, the family of the deceased has options in picking the fabric for the removable liner, thereby giving the rented casket a more personalized look.
1. An unfinished hardwood box of a wood that is easily combustible.
For those who choose a direct cremation without a viewing or other ceremony where the body is present, the funeral provider must offer an inexpensive unfinished wood box or alternative container, a non-metal enclosure - pressboard, cardboard or canvas-that is cremated with the body.
2. The liner from a rented casket
If your family is planning a funeral service or visitation prior to the cremation, your best option is most likely to rent a casket from the funeral home and use the removable liner as the container for the cremation. However, your funeral director can and must show you a line of caskets that you can purchase which are suitable for cremation.
3. A cardboard container
The Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule states that funeral directors who offer direct cremations can not tell you that state or local law requires a casket for direct cremations. Also, they have to disclose, in writing, the detail that you have a right to purchase an unfinished wood box or an alternative container for a direct cremation. Plus, they have got to make an unfinished wood box or other alternative container available for direct cremations.