Human bodies are used for manure… “Environmentally friendly” vs “Damage of dignity” over ‘compost’

California allows ‘composting’

▲ An image of a compost plant that turns human bodies into manure. American composting company Recompose Instagram

The state of California, in the United States, has allowed burials that allow the body to be used as manure when a person dies. Locally, there is strong opposition between the claim that the composting work is friendly to the environment and the view that it damages the dignity of the deceased.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that would introduce human composting burials starting in 2027, according to the state of California.

If this law is introduced, the body of the deceased can be decomposed naturally using grass, wood, micro-organisms, etc. for 30 to 45 days and made into compost soil.

The purpose of the compost yard bill is to provide environmentally friendly funeral options as well as burial and cremation for the deceased and their families.

American composting company Recompose Instagram

▲ US compost company Recompose Instagram

Composting has been implemented in Oregon, Colorado and Vermont since Washington state first introduced it in the United States in 2019.

According to Recompose, a company that specializes in composting, the bereaved family can return the remains of the deceased who returned to their compost or put it as compost on public land. The company’s composting facility costs $7,000 (976 million won).

State Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, who introduced the bill, said that “burial and cremation cause problems such as carbon emissions and chemical spills.”

However, according to the local media, religious groups such as the California Catholic Conference oppose the composting work on the grounds that it undermines the dignity of the deceased.

Reporter Minji Kim

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