Water cremation could soon be a new option for those planning funerals in the UK. It uses a process known as alkaline hydrolysis to reduce a body to liquid and ash, and has a number of environmental benefits over the traditional cremation process.
These include the fact that a water cremation produces one-third less greenhouse gases than a standard cremation, as well as using one-seventh of the energy to complete the process.
At present, there is nowhere in the UK where water cremations take place, although the practice is used in the US and Canada. However, Sandwell Council in Oldbury is working to introduce the process to a crematorium because it wants local residents to have more choice.
The Telegraph shared comments from a spokesperson for the council, who said: “Water cremation is the next phase in this evolution [of the funeral industry] and would give people an option that is more environmentally friendly than traditional cremation.”
However, the plans have hit a stumbling block, in that water company Severn Trent Water won’t grant the council with a trade effluent permit for the crematorium, which is needed to allow it to put the water used for the process back into the sewage system.
The water company has said that it is waiting for guidance from the government on the issue, because “there is no industry standard”.
Resomation UK, the company that would offer water cremation, has assured the organisation that any water re-entering the system would be sterile and free from DNA.
We will have to wait and see whether water cremation becomes an option for UK funerals. It appears that more people are making unusual requests when it comes to their funerals. Among them are using personalised coffins, having the coffin transported in an alternative vehicle to a hearse, and requests to be buried alongside their pet’s ashes.
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