Biodegradable urns
Cremains stay intact

Biodegradable Urns – Sea Burial

There are two types of biodegradable urns. These urns may be either designed for burial in the earth or burial at sea. The properties inherent in each type of Biodegradable urns make them suitable for a particular medium. When purchasing one of these urns make sure you are getting the appropriate type for burial in the ocean. Families show up on our yachts all the time with the inappropriate type of urn which cannot be used. If in doubt – ask us!

Since we are only interested in sea burial urns, lets talk about them. They come in a variety of shapes. colors,  are made of a variety of materials and most of them float for a few minutes.

Below are the most commonly used biodegradable urns and explanation of their properties and use. 

 Biodegradable urns are NOT required for burial at sea but do provide an alternative for families who do not wish to see the cremains. They also help alleviate the issue of keeping the cremains together which is important for some families religious beliefs. They are also used to prevent possible blow-back of ashes when scattering.

Many of them also provide an opportunity to personalize the urn by painting of writing messages on them. This is just another method of encouraging family participation.

Biodegradable Urns – Our Most Popular

Biodegradable Turtle Painted

The Biodegradable Turtle

Families love this biodegradable turtle and it is by far our most popular. Designed to float for a few minutes, then sink beneath the oceans surface.

Families will paint or write love notes on this urn before releasing it to the ocean.  Some turtles even wear a lei as the one shown here. We also have smaller baby turtles that hold a small amount of cremains, allowing several family members to participate.

Biodegradable Turtle Painted

The Biodegradable Salt Urn

Biodegradable Himalayan Rock Salt urns are a beautiful addition to a service. They are hand carved from blocks of salt  from very pure deposits believed to be about 250 million years old. When the sun hits these urns just the right way, they have a tendency to glow, producing a lovely effect. 

As will all biodegradable urns the cremains are first placed in a biodegradable bag and the bag is then placed in the urn.

Because salt is dense these urns are heavy (about 20 lbs) and do not float. When placed into the ocean they will sink immediately.

Note:  A friend of mine passed a few years ago who was a scuba diver. After a service with a salt urn his friends  placed the urn on an underwater shelf at at depth of 300 ft. I am sure my friend would have loved this as his final resting place.

Sea Shell Urn

Pillow Top Urn

Memento Urn

Sea Shell Urn for water scattering
Pillow Top Urn for water scattering
Memento urn for ocean burial

The Seashell Biodegradable urn comes in may colors (coral, aqua., sand and pearl). A unique feature of this type is urn is a matching brass keepsake, allowing some of the cremains the be retained. It is also large enough to accommodate two people.

This urn generally floats much longer than the other urns. It may even be necessary to place additional holes in this urn to get it to sink in a timely manner

The Pillow Top urn looks like a pillow and are available in many colors (ocean blue, dark blue, white, gray and green) . These are our most economical urns.  They float for a brief period and then sink slowly beneath the ocean’s surface.

They come in a variety of colors such as ocean blue, dark blue, white, gray and green.


The Memento urn is a Biodegradable urn – sustainable made – that will float briefly and then sink beneath the waves. It comes in several colors (blue, white and coral) and the unique feature of this urn is that the family and write messages on biodegradable paper and place them in the urn.

Twenty paper notes cards are supplied with this urn.

Flying with a Biodegradable Urn

Travelling with biodegradable urns does not generally pose any concerns, since they can be X-rayed. We do recommend that you take them as carry on luggage when they are already full with cremains. You do not want to take the chance of loosing them

If urns cannot be x-rayed then you will have to take them as checked baggage. You should always check with the airline as rules can change.

Southwest airlines flying with cremains

Biodegradable Urn Use

Water Soluable Bag

Each of these urns includes a water soluble bag inside it. It looks a bit like a plastic bag but will immediate designate when in contact with water, releasing the cremains into the ocean. The cremains are placed in this water soluble bad and then placed inside the biodegradable urn. 

Hint:  It is often easier to place the plastic bag into the urn without cremains and then gradually adding cremains, as the opening for the urn is often to small to allow it to be filled outside the urn

Placing a Biodegradable Urn in the Ocean

As a gesture of respect, each earn should be placed into the ocean by hand (if possible) and not dropped or thrown. On some vessels because of the height from the water a system with ropes may need to be devised to low the urn to the waters surface.

Dropping or throwing the urn may damage it and not allow it to float or perform as it was designed to do.