Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. Use the buttons below to navigate to different FAQ sections. If you do not find your answer here, please do not hesitate to write us through our Contact Us page! A member of our staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
Q: Should the cremated remains be placed into a plastic bag before loading the Scattering Tube?
A: No. A bag should not be used with the Scattering Tubes.
Q: What should families do with the Scattering Tube after they have scattered the remains of a loved one?
A: The Scattering Tubes are produced from recycled materials and can be recycled after use. They can also be kept indefinitely by families if they wish.
Q: Can I personalize a Scattering Tube?
A: Yes. Passages is able to print a photograph of the deceased onto the top of a Scattering Tube. In addition to the photograph, we can also personalize the top with the name of the deceased, date of birth and date of death or a short personalized message. We also offer engraving on the side of Scattering Tubes, which can be combined with clip art and the photograph on top of the tube.
Q: How long does it take to do the personalization on a Scattering Tube?
A: If we have approved artwork by 2pm MST, we can produce the tube and ship it the same day. Shipping charges are not included.
Q: How do I go about getting personalization on a Scattering Tube?
A: Passages provides personalization and engraving links on our website where funeral directors can provide the information and upload the photograph needed to personalize the tube. Once we receive the form, we will produce a proof for your approval. This is all done electronically via email.
Q: What is the purpose of the privacy shield?
A: Since the willow and seagrass caskets are essentially woven baskets, the fabric privacy shield prevents visual access to the interior of the casket.
Q: Do the bamboo caskets come with a privacy shield?
A: No. The weave of this casket is such that visual access to the casket is limited by the construction of the casket.
Q: Do the caskets seal?
A: The caskets do not seal but will securely contain the body of the deceased. The lining of each casket features a leak-resistant interior lining that will temporarily contain any minor leakage of fluids. The bamboo casket includes a biodegradable eco-friendly plastic lining that will temporarily contain any minor leakage of fluids. This lining will break down in the ground when the casket is buried.
Q: How long will it take the caskets to biodegrade in the earth?
A: This depends on the type of soil and the depth at which the casket is buried. Generally if the casket is buried in a relatively shallow grave with healthy (not too dry or too moist) earth it will break down in 12 to 24 months.
Q: How strong are the caskets?
A: These caskets are extremely durable. They are weight tested to 350 lbs and feature paulownia wood bases and rope handles that support the entire weight of the body and casket. Remember that many furniture items are produced from wicker (willow), and hot air balloon baskets are also made from willow. Bamboo is also extremely tough and durable: in Asia it’s used in scaffolding for the construction of large multi-story buildings.
Q: Do the caskets have any metal or plastic components?
A: No. No plastic or metal components are used in the construction of any Passages burial or cremation containers.
Q: Why does my Shell or Memento urn look different than the picture in the catalog/on my screen?
A: Many of our products are made by hand and will vary in appearance. Some are painted in small batches, sometimes with hand-mixed paint colors. Photographs of our products can vary in color due to whether the photograph was taken outdoors (in natural light) or in a studio environment, the background, the screen or device it is being viewed on, or color shifts in the printed catalog.
Q: How long will water burial urns take to sink?
A: In tests it has been found that water biodegradable urns will sink between three and five minutes after being placed in the water. The time it takes for the urn to sink may vary significantly depending in local weather and water conditions and the weight of the cremated remains.
Q: How long will the urn take to break down in water?
A: Within 24 hours of being placed in the water, the Journey Earthurns and Shell Deep Water Bio Urns will not be recognizable. Depending on local water conditions it can take between 30 and 90 days to completely degrade. Please note that these are organic products that biodegrade naturally over time.
Q: How long will the urn take to break down when buried in the ground?
A: It can take several months depending on local conditions. Generally the more moisture in the soil, the quicker the urn will biodegrade.
Q: Can I travel with the urn?
A: Yes. All of Passages urns are very durable and travel well. Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has implemented procedures that require urns that are to be carried into the cabin of a commercial aircraft to be x-rayed by security screeners. If security screeners are unable to view the contents of the urn during the x-ray process, the urn must be checked as baggage. To avoid uncomfortable situations, all of Passages International’s urns are constructed to clearly allow security screeners to view the contents of the urn. That said, the TSA can change its rules and regulations at any time.
Q: Can I ship the urn?
A: We do not recommend shipping any of our products unless they are still in their original packaging as we sent them. In most cases carriers will not accept products containing cremated remains unless they are in a carrier-approved container, so if an urn must be shipped we recommend shipping the urn separately from the remains if possible. While our urns are very durable, shipping anything as an individual can result in damage.
Q: What is included with each urn?
A: Included with each urn is a biodegradable plastic bag and tie. These bags are NOT packed inside the urn, rather they can be located in the box that the urns are shipped in. (Occasionally the bags will fall to the bottom of the box during shipping) The bags are EPA approved and will dissolve in 60 seconds when placed in warm or cold water.
Q: Will the urn biodegrade before I have time to bury or scatter?
A: No. Passages biodegradable urns are engineered to be durable and will not begin to biodegrade until they are placed in “the elements” (earth or water). This allows families to wait until they are ready to scatter or bury the cremated remains.
Q: How do you close the Shell Urn?
A: To close the urn, squeeze a bead of biodegradable glue (comes with the urn) around the edge of the opening and place the lid in the opening. Apply light pressure for two to three minutes or until the glue is dry. Wipe away any excess glue with a clean, damp cloth.
Q: How do you place the Memento or Shell urn into water?
A: For water burial, place the urn onto the water surface with the top facing up (top has fewer holes). The Urns are designed and engineered to briefly float and gracefully sink.
Blooming Ornaments, Bookmarks, and Mini Cards
Q: Can the bookmarks and mini cards be printed in color?
A: Upon special request we are able to print the bookmarks and mini cards in color. Please note that the pricing on all our price sheets is for black and white prints only.
Q: Can both sides of the bookmarks and mini cards be personalized?
A: Due to size constraints, typically only the front of the cards and bookmarks can be personalized. If you want the back personalized as well, please call us.
Q: How do we know the Ornaments and Remembrances will bloom?
A: Passages purchases high-quality seeds that are routinely tested. In these tests, germination rates of over 85% have been recorded. However, these products are natural and there are no guarantees that flowers will bloom from individual ornaments. There are many factors that determine whether a seed germinates. An ornament may not grow because it is not watered consistently or effectively, is not exposed to enough light, or is not placed in a temperate environment.
Shipping and Delivery
Q: How will my order be shipped?
A: Unless otherwise directed, Passages International Inc. will ship all orders via UPS Ground. Most UPS Ground shipments will be received at their final destination within 3-5 business days. Expedited shipping is available, up to and including Overnight Service.
UPS shares our passion for environmental responsibility and, just like Passages, is taking steps to minimize its carbon footprint. We ship all UPS packages through their Carbon Neutral Shipping program. With this program, UPS is saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and eliminating thousands of tons of carbon emissions per month, while putting funds towards further reducing carbon emissions. To learn more, click here. Orders placed by 3pm MST will ship the same day. Online orders must be received by 2pm for same day shipping (Some exceptions may apply.)
Q: How much does shipping cost?
A: Most urn orders that are shipped via UPS Ground start at roughly $15 per package. Overnight shipping can cost in excess of $100 depending on the product and where it is being shipped to. Standard delivery (4-5 business days) is included on all adult caskets (not including discounted caskets). Expedited casket delivery is available for an additional fee ( usually$125 for two day shipping to many locations).
Q: What if I want to use FedEx?
A: If FedEx shipping is important to you, we can provide you with FedEx shipping services (or any other) on a case by case basis. The cut-off time for orders needing to ship via FedEx the same day, is 2pm MST. In addition, anything that we ship for you via FedEx will ship on your FedEx account and will be subject to a FedEx imposed pick up fee. This FedEx pick up fee will appear on your FedEx bill.
Q: What is your return policy?
A: Passages staff inspect every item prior to it leaving our facility. It is for this reason that Passages stands behind it’s products 100%. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase we will gladly take the product back and credit your account up to the full purchase price of the item (assuming that we receive it back undamaged). If you receive a product that is damaged or defective, we will replace at no charge to you.
Q: What if my package is damaged?
A: Although damage is exceptionally rare, it is VERY important that you inspect the overall condition of your packages BEFORE signing for your freight shipment. Failure to note shipping damage may delay or prevent us from shipping replacement parts/items.
- If any of the packages appear torn, damaged, crushed, or if you’re concerned about the condition of any item, please open the affected carton(s) and inspect for damage.
- Refuse any damaged boxes and accept the remainder of your order.
- Note which item and the number of boxes that are damaged or are being refused on the driver’s paperwork.
- If the entire shipment is damaged, refuse the shipment and write “DAMAGED – REFUSED” on the delivery receipt.
- Contact us immediately at (505) 830-2500 to report the incident.
Q: Can I ship Passages urns via US Mail, FedEx or UPS?
A: Passages urns can be shipped again after receipt, but should be shipped empty. Several of our urns can be damaged during shipping, especially if they are shipped with cremated remains loaded into them or if they are not packaged correctly and in their original packaging. Check with local shipping representatives about regulations prior to shipping cremated remains to ensure that you are familiar and complying with any requirements.