Britain is running out of burial plots and cremation is not eco-friendly. Now new techniques are being developed to dispose of bodies without harming the atmosphere.
Scientists are exploring ways to make the body brittle so that it can be fragmented and cleaned. Once moiture is removed the structure will crumble and turn to dust, which can be cleanly managed and either buried or applied as a compost.
The process, termed ‘Cryomation’, reduces by 75% the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, and has been pioneered by UK firm Cryomation Limited. The company claims that hazardous mercury emissions are also reduced to zero by this process.
An alternative is to dissolve organs and bones in a strong alkaline solution, leaving only a fluid that can in theory empty into the sewage system. This process is already in use in several states in the USA, and UK company Resomation Limited is planning to introduce it into Britain.
The company claims that the Resomation process reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of a funeral by 35% and requires only one seventh of the power required in normal cremation.
Given the growing concern at levels of carbon dioxide released by crematoria as bodies burn, it seems only a matter of time before such techniques become more common here.