Washington has become the first US state to allow the bodies to be converted into compost, rather than being buried or burned.

According to the Washington Post, Gov. Guy Insley signed a bill allowing licensed facilities "natural organic fertilization" of bodies, which, combined with materials such as sawdust and straw, converts them into soil in just a few weeks.

"Our service transforms human remains into soil so that we can provide a new life after our death," said Katina Speed, founder and CEO of Recombus.

A test of the idea was carried out in 2018 on the remains of six people with acute illnesses who donated their bodies for research.