Water cremation is already offered as a service in several US states, but has yet to receive approval in the UK.
Whilst it might sound strange, it’s growing to become an alternative to traditional cremation and could soon catch on in the UK.
So, before you consider it as an option, you need to know what it involves…
The Water Cremation method involves a body being placed into a metal chamber, where a process called alkaline hydrolysis breaks the body down into liquid and ash.
Many proponents of water cremation claim that the process is environmentally friendly, with there being no human DNA in the waste water produced. The process is supposedly kinder to the environment than traditional cremation. Companies looking to offer the service here in the UK claim that the process produces less than two thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions and requires just a seventh of the energy used during the cremation.
The process used for Water Cremation also allows for bodily implants to be completely separated along with dental amalgam. This means that mercury (found in tooth fillings) can be removed safely. If the Water Cremation service was offered in the UK and it proved popular this would help to reduce the UKs airborne mercury emissions. It is thought that currently approximately 16 percent of such omissions originate from cremation.
While this sounds positive there have been some objections. Sandwell Council have been awarded planning permission to enable them to offer this service (through a partner company). Severn Trent Water have however refused the Council a trade effluent permit, which has stalled the process.
Severn Trent Water say they are currently looking to the government for guidance. Water UK has also stated they are “not convinced”, with a spokesperson telling The Sunday Times: “It is the liquefied remains of the dead going into the water system. We don’t think the public will like the idea.”
The Council’s reasoning for wanting to offer the service is that they would like to provide more choice for the public, giving them greater control over what happens to them after they die.
While water cremation may not currently be an option, it could be a reality in the UK in the very near future. The popularity of any future water cremation service remains to be seen.
Whilst you may not want to think about it, it’s important to plan for your future. Whatever your wishes, it’s important to consolidate them in one place.
ELM Legal Services are experts in the industry. As well as advising you on providing for your loved ones, our professional team can ease any worries you may have.
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