Washington was the first state in the United States to legalize the conversion of human remains into compost.
Now, under the new law, the inhabitants of this western state will be able to choose a new way to dispose of their bodies after death, bequeathing that their remains turn into soil.
The law was signed by state governor Jay Insley on May 21.
Lobbied for the law of Katrina Spade, her company Recompose has mastered the technology of converting the remains into fertile compost.
By technology, the body is placed in a hexagonal steel container filled with alfalfa, wood chips and straw. After that, the container is closed, and the body decomposes naturally in no more than 30 days. The result is compost in an amount approximately corresponding to two wheelbarrows.
At the end of the procedure, compost is given to relatives of the deceased. They can plant flowers, vegetables or trees in it.
Composting is offered as a greener alternative to traditional burial and cremation. It can also be a solution to the problem of the lack of burial places in large cities, where there is limited space for cemeteries.
Spade called this technology “an alternative to embalming, burial, or cremation that is natural, safe, environmentally friendly.” In her opinion, this method reduces carbon emissions and land use.
Environmentally friendly landfill alternatives are becoming increasingly popular.
The recently deceased actor of the television series “Beverly Hills, 90210” Luke Perribyl is buried in California in a “mushroom suit.”
According to costume designer Jay Rim Lee, such a disposal technology reduces the amount of toxic pollutants that are released into the environment during decomposition and cremation of the body.
In Sweden, the method of converting the remains into compost is also legalized, and in the UK, burial without a coffin and in a coffin from biodegradable materials is allowed.