Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t
The controversial new method is said to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than running highly polluting crematoria or using up valuable land for graves. The departed would go into the sewage systems of towns and cities and then be recycled in water processing plants.
The proposals are being studied by the EU and if approved, it would mean the procedure could be used across Europe. However, opponents of the plans say it smacks of a Frankenstein callousness towards the dead and one survey in Belgium found many people found the idea “disturbing.”
“The idea is for the deceased to be placed in a container with water and salts and then pressurised and after a little time, about two hours, mineral ash and liquid is left over,” said a spokesman for the Flemish Association of Undertakers. The European Commission is investigation whether the resulting liquid could safely be flushed into the sewage system. Authorities in the northern Belgian region have yet to decide whether to approve the process.
Six states in America – Maine, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, and Maryland have recently passed legislation that allow the process to be used. Although experts insist that the ashes can be recycled in waste systems, the residue from the process can also be put in urns and handed over to relatives of the dead.