Washington Becomes First U.S State To Legalize Human Composting
Back in April, Washington made plans to become the first state to allow the environmentally friendly practice of “human composting” — which turns dead bodies into soil. On Tuesday, the state finally decided to move forward and legalize it.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Jay on Tuesday. Under the new law, people are now able to choose to have their body turned into soil after their death — an alternative move to cremations and burials, and as a new option in cities where land for graveyards is scarce. Loved ones will be given the soil, which they can use in planting flowers, vegetables or trees.
Katrina Spade, who founded a company that could be the first to provide the service, broke down how it would work. Spade says the process for her company, Recompose, will place a body in a hexagonal steel container filled with alfalfa, wood chips and straw.
The container is then shut, and the body decomposes naturally within 30 days, creating two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil.
“Recomposition offers an alternative to embalming and burial or cremation that is natural, safe, sustainable, and will result in significant savings in carbon emissions and land usage,” Ms Spade told Agence France-Presse.
Human composting is already legal in Sweden, while natural burials – where the body is buried without a casket or with a biodegradable coffin – are legal in the UK.
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