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Resomation or water cremation. What is this form of burial? It is introduced in Great Britain

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Later this year, Co-op Funeralcare, which operates more than 1,000 funeral homes across the UK, will launch a pilot water cremation scheme, The Guardian reports. This process, also known as resomization, is considered a more ecological alternative to traditional forms of burial.

Currently, resorption is legal in 28 states USAsome regions Canada and South Africa. Soon, as part of the Co-op Funeralcare pilot programme, corpses will be able to be subjected to the water cremation process also in selected funeral parlors in Great Britain. Interest in this method of burial is also growing in AustraliaMexico and the Netherlands Sky News notes.

The resomization method, also known as hydrocremation or alkaline hydrolysis, was developed in the 1990s. It is to be a more ecological alternative to the existing forms of burial. The carbon footprint generated by it is to be half that of the one created as a result of burning corpses in the cremation process.

A UK pilot resorption programme

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What is water cremation? This process begins with putting the corpse into a closed bag made of biodegradable materials. Then the whole thing is placed in a metal capsule, filled with a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide. Its contents are heated to 160 degrees Celsius. Resomatization is carried out at a pressure of ten atmospheres, which prevents the solution from boiling.

As noted by Sky News, corpses cremated with water dissolve in a manner similar to natural decomposition. However, it lasts not 12 years, but from 3 to 14 hours. When resomatization is complete, the body is left with a greenish-brown solution and bones. This liquid is disposed of, and the bones are crushed to powder and given to the family of the deceased.

SEE ALSO: “Composting People”. California has legalized a controversial method of burial

Water cremation device

Water cremation is the first newly introduced method of corpse disposal in the UK since the 1902 law authorizing cremation came into force. According to a YouGov study commissioned by Co-op Funeralcare, 89 per cent of Britons have not heard of alkaline hydrolysis. What is interesting, however, after presenting the assumptions of resomatization to the respondents, as many as 29 percent of them said that they would choose it as a method of their own burial.

Helen Smith, commercial director at Co-op Funeralcare, told Sky News: “When we talk to the families of the deceased and those who plan their own funerals, we are seeing a real increase in decisions being made for the environment.

SEE ALSO: Picture with the ashes of the deceased. This is how the British artist commemorated her father

Eco-burial in Poland

In Poland, issues related to burial are regulated by the Act on Cemeteries and Burial of the Dead of January 31, 1959. Possibilities of ecoburial are limited. As explained in an interview with TVN24.pl, Dr. hab. Iwona Sierpowska from the SWPS University in Wrocław, apart from placing the corpses in graves or suitably adapted catacombs and placing the incinerated remains in columbariums, in “strictly defined situations” it is possible to sink the corpses in the sea. Currently, however, according to the lawyer, the last of these methods “is of marginal use”.

SEE ALSO: What would you like to be when you die?

The Guardian, Sky News, TVN24.pl

Main photo source: Anze Furlan/Shutterstock



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