Did you know that there are biodegradable urns designed to make a water burial ceremony or sea scattering beautiful, memorable, and easy?
There are few things more important in life than knowing and communicating what we want after our passing. This is especially true if you plan for your final disposition to be something other than the traditional casket burial at a cemetery. For instance, cremation with a water burial or scattering at sea.
Having carefully laid out our plans and communicating them to our loved ones is such a sign of love and self-respect. Once they know your final hopes for disposition, that burden can be lifted off of them.
When it comes time to get specific, well, some of us get really specific! For those of you who are desiring a water burial or scattering at sea or in a marine environment, our cremation urn experts have done the research for you.
Or perhaps your loved one left instructions, stating their desire for a water burial? In which case we have many options that we are sure they approve of.
Please note that the biodegradable urns for ashes below will work for almost any body of water, including the ocean, lakes, or even large ponds and rivers.
When scattering into smaller creeks, we would recommend using a traditional scattering urn (for pouring out the ashes), not a biodegradable water urn.
Best Biodegradable Water Burial Urns
These unique, biodegradable cremation urns — made from natural materials — are designed to securely hold the ashes and be placed in the water, where they will slowly sink below the surface after a short time.
There, they will biodegrade and release the remains into the ocean, lake, or river.
You won’t need to worry about remains blowing back over the boat or shore, as the person’s ashes won’t be poured out from a container or traditional urn (see further below for those types of urns).
You can simply set or drop eco water urns into the body of water. Most water urns will float for a short while, allowing time for a brief memorial service, a funeral reading, or a time of silence and reflection. As moisture begins to seep into the water-soluble urn, it will slowly fill and descend to the ocean floor.
Here are the top water scattering urns selected by our cremation urn experts.
Related: What to Say When Scattering Ashes
1. Journey Earth Urn Biodegradable Urn
Handmade from mulberry tree wood, this Journey Earthurn comes in the loveliest shade of green imaginable! Carefully crafted for a water burial, sea lovers will approve of this sustainable choice.
2. Floral Biodegradable Urn
More feminine in appeal and design, this gorgeous floral urn is completely biodegradable. A wonderful option for a sea burial, this natural urn really stands out from the others.
A piece of beauty on an otherwise very difficult day is always wonderfully reassuring.
3. Biodegradable Paper Turtle Water Burial Urn
These sweet and adorable biodegradable turtles are handmade in Mexico and no two are exactly the same.
This urn is made from recycled papers and non-toxic glue by local, skilled artisans who are ensured a fair wage. A wonderful option for someone who loved life and loved nature!
4. Eco-Friendly Traditional Black Urn
More traditional and sophisticated, this eco-friendly black urn is a lovely choice.
It will naturally break down over time, thanks to its organic materials, but is also a lasting option if you choose to keep your loved one’s remains close to you.
5. Elegant Water Burial Urn Box with Shell
A perfect solution for scattering ashes, this decorative shell biodegradable urn is also a great choice for a marine disposition. Elegant and timeless, the design will appeal to the lovers of the ocean and sea creatures.
6. Biodegradable Oceane Burial Urn
Made from natural sand, these biodegradable Oceane sand urns are one-of-a-kind and truly beautiful! These timeless, rustic pieces are crafted as elemental works of art and incorporate rich earthy color.
7. Biodegradable Ship Urn
Make a water burial completely and utterly unique and memorable with this biodegradable ship urn!
Now you can respect his or her wishes to go out with a little bit of viking style, but still with much time-honored respect, just like their heroes of old did. Such a beautiful way to say goodbye.
8. Beachfront Limestone Urn
Made from limestone, the pretty artwork on this urn is hand painted, making it a truly special, unique urn.
Artistic and appealing, this urn is a crowd pleaser on every level, especially for those who love the beach and the ocean.
9. Biodegradable Shell Water Scattering Urn
This urn is so stunning. Absolutely perfect for mermaid and beach lovers, it has a touch of the whimsy and is almost a bit fairytale-esque.
A lovely choice for the young-at-heart —we know they would approve!
10. Fresh Flowers Eco-friendly Water Urn
As this urn sinks beneath the water, the delicate flowers are released and left floating in a beautiful ceremony. There won’t be a dry eye on the beach or riverside.
Such a memorable way to say goodbye to your loved one and return them to the earth.
11. White Lily Ocean Water Urn
This beautiful urn with its depiction of white lilies will float gracefully for about ten minutes, then sink lightly to the bottom of the sea or river.
Honor your loved one together in a way that is special and a little bit unique.
12. Biodegradable Oceane Blue Burial Urn
This gorgeous water burial urn looks like your more traditional urns, but it’s completely biodegradable! Such a lovely choice for a sea disposition.
And we just love the color — it reminds us of the bluest lake or the most stunning ocean waters.
13. Vintage Butterfly Water Burial Urn
If butterflies were your loved one’s special friends or favorite creatures, then this vintage butterfly water scattering urn is just the thing.
The antique appeal is so elegant, and the addition of the butterfly sets it apart.
14. Starfish Eco-Friendly Urn
Made of sand, this simple, eco-friendly starfish urn is exactly what you’re looking for!
It’s beautiful and unusual (in all the right ways), but also makes a fitting tribute to anyone who loved the ocean. With its natural composition, it will break down easily over time in water.
15. Lavender Biodegradable Urn Box
Its beautiful simplicity is what makes it so perfect. This biodegradable urn box would be a wonderful option for the individual who preferred elegance without frills.
You can choose from a variety of colors as well, ensuring that this box is absolutely perfect.
16. Lotus Flower Ocean Burial Urn
Handmade of balsa wood, this elegant floral ocean burial urn is so special. You can even choose the color of the lotus flowers, making it even more unique and “them.” The urn will float for a few minutes, then sink gracefully to the ocean floor.
17. Biodegradable Driftwood Ocean Urn
This natural driftwood ocean urn is also perfect for a fresh water burial, or even a more traditional ground burial. It’s gorgeous, natural exterior is such a beautiful reminder of what they loved most: nature and the ocean
18. Small Sunset Eco-Friendly Clamshell Urn Box
The mountain scene on this sunset eco-friendly clamshell urn box is so stunning! Everyone will agree. Such a nice choice for a nature lover, everything in it and on it is green and good for the ocean or lake.
19. Golden Glory Biodegradable Urn
A very lovely and sophisticated choice, this Golden Glory urn is completely made from biodegradable materials and will float for a few moments before sinking below the waves.
Wonderful for the patriarch or matriarch of the family, the art is strong and timeless.
20. Ocean Burial Bowl Urns
Simple as can be (meaning you can personalize it yourself if you like), these ocean burial bowl urns come in all sorts of different colors. They are an excellent choice for the person who loved to live a minimalist life and adored the earth.
21. Biodegradable Forest Light Urn
Made of limestone and airbrushed by hand, this beautiful forest scene makes it a great urn choice for a lake burial! So pretty it will be almost difficult to let it go, but it will make for a beautiful and unforgettable ceremony.
22. Water Soluble Mom Urn
This lovely pink “Mom” urn is water soluble and a great choice for a dearly loved mother. Simple, yet beautifully unique, and the little heart is so precious. How sweet!
23. Handmade Biodegradable Sand Dollar Urn
Crafted lovingly by hand of paper and balsa wood, we love this sand dollar option we found while searching for the perfect urns!
Just like others mentioned here, this biodegradable water burial urn will float for a bit during the ceremony, then sink gracefully.
24. Blue-Gray Limestone Urn
This pretty blue-gray urn is made of limestone and is a perfect option if you would like to keep your loved one’s remains for a while before committing to a sea burial.
Strong and sturdy, yet also lovely, this one is a great choice for either gender.
25. Coco Organic Urn
For those who think outside the box and like to be a little different, we love this coco organic urn!
Wonderful for a sea burial, this unusual egg-shaped urn is a tribute to someone who lived life on their own happy terms.
26. Lily Leaves Biodegradable Urn
Made for an absolutely unforgettable water burial, this pretty urn is decorated with a stunning burgundy and white lily and broad leaves. For flower and nature lovers, this urn makes for an obvious choice.
27. The Final Hole Biodegradable Urn for Dad
A final nod to a dear loved one who shared your love of golf and a great sense of humor! This “Final Hole” urn can be personalized by you, or just used as-is.
Just the right way to honor their love of the sport and to bring smiles to an otherwise sad day.
28. Biodegradable Round Sand Burial Urn
Made of sand, this pretty, traditional style urn can be used for a water burial or even a land burial should you change your mind. It’s completely biodegradable so you can feel confident in your choice for a green funeral.
29. In Loving Memory Pillow Urns
You can pick your color with these super pretty “In Loving Memory” pillow-stye urns!
So graceful and timeless, they are a great option for a lovely person whom you will miss and think of fondly. A simplistic choice when you find yourself overwhelmed by options.
30. Eco-Friendly Heart Urn
The extra-large size makes this a beautiful choice for the couple who would like to be buried together. The heart shape is so romantic and timeless and will never go out of style. A perfect option for a dual burial at sea.
31. Pearl White Biodegradable Burial Urn
We love the pure, pearl white look of this burial urn! It appears as though it would be a traditional urn, but it’s completely biodegradable and made from sustainable materials so it’s just the thing for a water burial. Elegant, but still timeless.
32. Gold Accent Water Burial Ship Urn
This gold accent burial ship is a fantastic choice for a man or woman who loved the sea! What a beautiful and handsome way to float away when it’s time to leave this earth.
We love this one for its practicality and its nod to history and adventure.
33. Flying Doves Biodegradable Urn
Doves represent so many things, and this flying dove biodegradable urn is so graceful! A wonderful choice for a nature lover and bird lover, this urn will make everyone smile at the ceremony.
34. Eco-Water Urn
This pretty option can be used for all of the ashes, or just a small amount of cremains (to allow the remainder to be shared with family members).
Once floating on the lake or ocean, the bottom will open and the ashes will gracefully be released into the water.
35. Himalayan Rock Salt Cremation Urn for Water Burial
Made from pure Himalayan rock salt, this cremation urn is wonderful for a water burial. Unusual and unique, but still stylish and modern, this urn is the perfect choice for a simple yet sophisticated loved one.
Urns for Scattering Ashes at Sea
When people hear “scattering,” they often think of pouring cremation ashes out of a container to be blown about in the wind. These are ocean scattering urns designed to make that process as easy as possible.
Of course, we’d advise that you take note of which direction the wind is blowing before you scatter.
36. Tribute Scattering Cremation Urn Tubes
These tube style urns are innovative and simple! You can choose from so many beautiful designs with their unique and eye-catching artwork. An excellent option for any loved one for whom you wish to create a beautiful tribute.
Choose from standard size (200 cubic inches, which will hold the typical adult’s remains) or a smaller keepsake size (20 cubic inches) if several people want to be involved in the scattering process.
37. Personalized Natural Rosewood Scattering Tube
When you’re searching for a way to share your loved ones remains with other family members, this natural rosewood scattering urn tube is the way to go.
It’s wonderfully crafted, elegant, and can be personalized however you like best. The small size means it can easily travel with you if needed.
38. Blush Pink Rose Biodegradable Urn
This pretty blush pink rose urn is completely biodegradable and made from eco-friendly materials. It will make a lovely tribute to your loved one during the ceremony, and will be utterly unforgettable, just as they are.
Wonderful for a pet ceremony, as well.
39. Simplicity Earthurn Biodegradable Urn
Made from mulberry trees (utilized without cutting them down) this Earthurn is so simple, yet it really catches your eye. Great for the minimalist and nature lover, you can’t go wrong with this elegant option.
40. Love Notes Personalized Scattering Urn Tube
This scattering urn tube really is a love letter! It comes with special markers so that everyone can sign their name and words of affection onto the tube. Such a meaningful, personalized choice for the special people in your life.
How long does it take for a biodegradable urn to dissolve?
Some bio urns will begin to break down and begin scattering the ashes within minutes, while others may take longer.
Bear in mind that none of these urns will completely dissolve in minutes; water will penetrate the urn quickly, allowing the cremated remains to slowly be carried away in the current. For the urn materials to completely biodegrade, expect days or even weeks.
The length of time it takes the urn to dissolve will depend on your specific kind of urn and the materials used to make it. Check with the sellers or artists who made yours to find out.
Do cremated ashes dissolve in water?
Think of cremated ashes like you would sand. Rather than dissolve, they will float to the bottom of the sea or lake. They become one with the ecosystem, returning to the earth.
Are human ashes bad for the environment?
No! Cremated remains are harmless to the ocean and completely safe for the environment.
Can you make your own biodegradable urn?
You can, and what a wonderful tribute that would be! There are easy to follow DIY urn options and handmade tutorials out there.
The most important thing is to ensure that your ingredients are truly biodegradable and good for the earth before releasing them into the water.
Daniel has been working in the funeral industry since 2010, speaking directly to grieving families as they made funeral arrangements.
He began researching and publishing funeral articles on this website as part of his role as product and marketing manager at Urns Northwest.
Having written hundreds of articles and growing the site to multiple millions of views per year, Daniel continues to write while providing editorial oversight for US Urns Online’s content team.