California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law Monday allowing human composting as a burial method in the state starting in 2027.
Assembly Bill 351, introduced by Assembly Members Cristina Garcia and Robert Rivas, will allow for naturally decomposed human remains to be turned into soil. California will become the fifth state to allow the method.
AB 351 was signed into law! It legalizes “human composting” as an after-death option.
— Cristina Garcia (@AsmGarcia) September 19, 2022
Garcia said it was an environmentally friendly alternative to other end-of-life methods, such as cremation. She claimed composting will prevent the release of one metric ton of carbon into the environment per person. (RELATED: ‘Authoritarian’: Republicans React To Biden Admin’s VA Office Offering Abortion Services)
“With climate change and sea-level rise as very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere,” Garcia said, according to the LA Times.
“This new law will provide California’s 39 million residents with a meaningful funeral option that offers significant savings in carbon emissions, water and land usage over conventional burial or cremation,” Katrina Spade, chief executive of a Seattle company that built the first human composting facility in the country, said.
Some oppose the bill on religious grounds for reducing “the human body to simply a disposable commodity.” The California Catholic Conference has submitted a letter opposing the bill. Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the conference, said the means of burial was not a fit method to deal with human remains. Domingo said the method, “can create an unfortunate spiritual, emotional and psychological distancing from the deceased.”