UK funeral service introduces eco-friendly "water cremation" as a sustainable alternativetext_fields
London: A funeral service in the UK, Co-op Funeralcare, has introduced an eco-friendly method of burial known as water cremation, or resomation.
This flameless process utilises a combination of potassium hydroxide and water to break down human remains. Unlike traditional burials and cremations, research indicates that resomation is a more sustainable option as it avoids the release of toxic gases, air pollutants, and polluting fluids. Co-op Funeralcare said that resomation produces one-third less greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional cremation methods and utilises only a fraction of the energy. The water company responsible for the wastewater treatment process has expressed confidence that the disposal will not impact their operations, reported BBC.
It takes approximately four hours and leaves behind the bones, which are subsequently pulverised and returned to the loved ones. This alternative practice is scheduled to be introduced later this year as a greener choice for end-of-life services.
During resomation, the deceased is placed in a biodegradable bag and enclosed within a container filled with pressurised water and a small quantity of potassium hydroxide. This method was described as a "boil in the bag" funeral by The Guardian. It is already being used in countries such as Canada, South Africa, and several US states.
According to the CDS Group, a crematorium consultancy, a typical cremation releases approximately 245 kg of carbon, resulting in an annual UK impact of 115,150 tonnes - equivalent to the electricity consumption of 65,000 households.
Despite the environmentally friendly benefits, Co-op Funeralcare expects the cost of resomation to be comparable to that of conventional cremation. The specific locations where water cremation will be offered have yet to be announced, but the company has plans to expand its availability across the UK.