California legalizes human composting after death: how does it work?


California legalizes human composting after death: how does it work?

  • Human composting is the process of turning human remains into soil.
  • Proponents say it’s more environmentally friendly than coffin burials and cremation.
  • Despite the seemingly new method of burial, it is no different from the traditional practices of many cultures of returning a body to the ground.

Californians will soon have a new end-of-life burial option: human composting.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday signed a bill that creates a state regulatory process for “natural organic reduction,” or turning human remains into soil. The law will come into force in 2027.

California is the fifth state to legalize human composting, following Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Vermont. Proponents say the process is a more environmentally friendly option than coffin burials and cremation, and despite the seemingly new burial method, experts say it is no different from the traditional practices of many cultures consisting of putting a body back on the ground.

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