Your life could go down the pan - literally

Caroline Cassidy

When people die, their loved ones may have to choose between burial or cremation but when the pet goldfish dies, it gets flushed down the loo. All that might change in the future since an undertakers in Belgium is hoping that, after death, humans will be joining Goldie in the sewers.

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The Flemish Association of Undertakers is trying to gain permission to carry out a new greener way of dealing with bodies. They plan to liquefy corpses in a caustic potash solution - a method that uses less energy and creates less harmful carbon dioxide.

The procedure known as chemical hydrolysis dissolves bodies in a solution of water and salts and then pressurises the remains so that all that is left is mineral ash and liquid.

The idea will certainly prove controversial in countries with strong religious beliefs, but others will no doubt feel squeamish about the process.

Frederik Vanbellingen, an undertaker in Flanders, said to Sky News: "In Belgium it will be hard to introduce. We know about cremation but not this new process.

"I think a solution to the problem of the fluid also needs to be found. Relatives could find pouring their loved ones away psychologically difficult."

Before permission can be granted for the procedure, the European Commission have to consider the safety of the practice. It must first establish whether pouring liquefied human remains down the drains would clog up the sewers.

Would you allow your remains to be liquefied or be able to pour your loved ones down the drain? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.