Currently in the UK around 75% of all funerals are completed with a cremation rather than a traditional burial incorportating headstones. This figure shown a substantial increase since 1940, were only 10% of all funerals ended in cremation.
The growth in cremation was due to a number of influences;
1) Perception that cremation was a more responsible form of burial minimising space required and reducing public health issues.
2) Decline in religious concerns regarding cremation.
3) Cost – A typical cremation is approximately 250 compared with 750 for a grave burial including the cost of headstones and memorials.
4) Lack of availability of traditional burial sites. Many existing cemeteries are now full and new developments have long waiting lists.
A major report completed in 1997 found that in many inner city areas only nine years of non-denominational burial space left available.
However in light of recent publicity regarding climate change and global warming there is a renewed interest in traditional burials.
There is no doubt that cremation uses gas to burn a wooden coffin, omitting harmful carbon dioxide gases into the environment.