What are Scattering Tubes

If you’re planning on scattering your loved one’s ashes as part of a memorial service, or to fulfill their wish of being laid to rest in a particular location, you don’t need any sort of permanent urn. Instead, you would have the cremains placed in a scattering tube to secure transport to the location of the scattering.

Scattering tubes are temporary containers generally made from heavy-duty cardboard and decorated with dignified, attractive imagery meant to invoke the memory of the deceased contained within. The cremains are placed inside an inner tube that is then protected by a decorative outer tube. You can also find tubes made of sturdier materials.

In order to scatter the cremains, you simply remove the outer lid and then punch in the perforated hole at the top of the inner tube. You can then gently shake the ashes free until the tube is empty. The tube, which is biodegradable, can then be recycled, composted, or kept as a keepsake.

Scattering tubes are compliant with all relevant TSA rules, which means they can be transported safely in the cabin of an airplane, in case air travel is required to deliver the cremains to the final scatter location.

Scatter Tube Options

Cremains are generally placed in one large scattering tube. However, if you have multiple individuals interested in participating in the scattering of ashes, you can choose to divide the cremains into a number of smaller tubes.

Funeral homes and online vendors sell a variety of tube sizes, with a wide assortment of pre-created decorative options. You can also choose to submit an image to have printed on a custom scattering tube. This allows you to use a photo of the deceased, or to choose imagery that was meaningful to them in life. Personalization is a wonderful way to further honor the memory of your loved one while scattering their ashes.

Helpful Tips for Scattering Ashes

Scattering tubes are made to facilitate the transfer of ashes safely. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to assure a smooth transition.

When removing the lid to your scattering tube, and particularly when punching open the inner seal, be sure to have the tube opening pointed away from you and other people. This avoids the possibility of a puff of ashes getting in someone’s eyes.

Make sure to test the wind direction prior to scattering ashes into the open air. You want to make certain you scatter the ashes in the right direction so that they’re carried away from you, as opposed to getting blown back at you.

The same thought should be put into a beach scattering. You want to wait until the tide is going out so that your loved one's ashes are carried out to sea, instead of pushed back up onto the beach.

Choose a scattering location that isn’t downwind of any area where the ashes could disturb other people.

If your chosen location makes it difficult to avoid this possibility, consider scattering the ashes directly onto the ground, or into a shallow hole, where they can be buried.