Washington has become the first US state to allow the bodies to be converted into compost, rather than being buried or burned.
Washington Governor Guy Insley has drafted a bill that allows 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.
The process is based on the idea of "cattle manure" that farmers have been adopting for years. Washington already has many "green cemeteries" where people can be buried without mummification, boxes or tombstones.
"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.
"Our normative system uses the principles of nature to bring our bodies back to Earth."
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.
The results, according to Lynn Carpenter Boggs, a soil scientist at the University of Washington, "clean, rich and odorless soil are consistent with all safety guidelines."
Human manure is not a new phenomenon at all, although religious and cultural beliefs in different parts of the world have recognized for thousands of years ways to preserve the bodies of the dead.