Washington becomes first US state to legalise human composting | CTlive.info - South Africa News

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Hands holding soilImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Loved ones are given the soil to keep

Washington has become the first state in the US to legalise human composting.

Under the new law, people there can now choose to have their body turned into soil after their death.

The process is seen as an alternative to cremations and burials, and as a practical option in cities where land for graveyards is scarce.

At the end of the composting, loved ones are given the soil, which they can use in planting flowers, vegetables or trees.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday.

Katrina Spade, who lobbied for the law to be introduced, founded a company that could be the first to provide the service.

“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.

How does it work?

Ms Spade says the process for her company, Recompose, places 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.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Human composting is seen as an eco-friendly alternative to burials and cremations

Environmentally friendly burial alternatives are becoming increasingly popular.

Earlier this month it was revealed that late actor Luke Perry was laid to rest in a “mushroom suit” in California.

The suit’s creator, Jae Rhim Lee, says that it reduces the amount of toxic pollutants that are released into the environment during the body’s decomposition and cremation.

The process of 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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