The resomation procedure, which is promoted as a more sustainable option, uses a mixture of potassium hydroxide and water to break down human remains.
It takes four hours – the bones remain and are powdered before being returned to loved ones in an urn, comparable to ashes.
Resomation is practiced in Canada, South Africa, and a number of US states.
It will be the first alternative method of disposing of a person in the UK since the Cremation Act was passed in 1902, and Co-op Funeralcare will be the first to offer it, beginning later this year.
According to the British company Resomation, which supplies the equipment, the method emits one-third less greenhouse gas than cremation and consumes one-seventh the energy.
According to Sandy Sullivan, the company’s founder, the liquid used in resomation is “safely returned to the water cycle free of any traces of DNA.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-apartheid activist, chose the method for his funeral arrangements in South Africa; he died in late 2021.
“Land for burials is running out,” according to Gill Stewart, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, and resomation could help the business “improve its carbon reduction targets and meet the capacity challenges of a growing population.”
The funeral home expects the cost of resomation to be comparable to that of a standard cremation.
The funeral chain stated that resomation will first be available only in certain places, which will be publicized, with the objective of expanding it across the UK.