British local authorities are struggling to keep pace with demand for burial space and to conform to new rules about emissions from crematoria. 'Green' burial sites, where trees are planted on graves instead of headstones, are few and far between.
The Swedes have found a new way to solve the problem - freeze-drying. Bodies are frozen in liquid nitrogen, and then, in their brittle state, broken into dust that can be buried in a shallow grave. I've heard old gardeners say that when they die they'd like to be buried in their compost heap. Well, now maybe they can.
One of my colleagues emailed recently:
'With British Crematoria ... facing millions of pounds of upgrading to come into line on new emissions limits it might be a good time for them to do a bit of lateral thinking. X at Y Crem told me recently that things are so bad in Z Borough Council they seldom plan anything more than a month ahead and most business is conducted on a "firefighting" basis. I don't think Z Crem will be a pioneer. Might leave the door open for the private sector to have a go.'