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Netherlands: World's first living coffin provides eco-conscious burial solution05:18

Netherlands: World's first living coffin provides eco-conscious burial solution

Netherlands, Delft
September 18, 2020 at 11:16 GMT +00:00 · Published

A Dutch inventor, Bob Hendrikx, has manufactured the world's first mycelium-based coffin that decomposes bodies organically and allows for nutrients to be reabsorbed by the soil and the relevant organisms living in it. Bob is a graduate at the Delft University of Technology where he worked on producing a concept of the world's first living architecture with mycelium. At present, he is a founder and bio designer at Loop, a startup specialising in making the mycelium-based coffins commercially feasible and available.

The product offered by Loop has been dubbed the "living cocoon" and is primarily composed of mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi that takes the form of a mass network of white filaments referred to as hyphae.

The first funeral with a mycelium-based coffin took place last week, in which an 82-year old woman was buried in the environmentally-conscious casket at Wesduin cemetery at The Hague. It is expected that the body will decompose within two to three years. In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Hendrikx commented: "A person lost his mom and for us, it was a milestone but also sort of an emotional moment because somebody's actually using your product and you're making them happy."

The innovative coffin also features a moss bed, which lines the inside of the coffin to "start decomposing the body much faster than the normal process because this is the way nature intended it," according to Hendrikx.

The production process can take several weeks and every mycelium-based coffin costs between €1,500 and €2,000 ($1,776 to $2,368). The mycelium is grown in the shape of a coffin and once ready, dried naturally which stops its growth. When exposed to groundwater, the mycelium comes alive, starting the breakdown process.

A Dutch funeral company has already included the mycelium-based coffin in their commercial offering.

Netherlands: World's first living coffin provides eco-conscious burial solution05:18
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A Dutch inventor, Bob Hendrikx, has manufactured the world's first mycelium-based coffin that decomposes bodies organically and allows for nutrients to be reabsorbed by the soil and the relevant organisms living in it. Bob is a graduate at the Delft University of Technology where he worked on producing a concept of the world's first living architecture with mycelium. At present, he is a founder and bio designer at Loop, a startup specialising in making the mycelium-based coffins commercially feasible and available.

The product offered by Loop has been dubbed the "living cocoon" and is primarily composed of mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi that takes the form of a mass network of white filaments referred to as hyphae.

The first funeral with a mycelium-based coffin took place last week, in which an 82-year old woman was buried in the environmentally-conscious casket at Wesduin cemetery at The Hague. It is expected that the body will decompose within two to three years. In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Hendrikx commented: "A person lost his mom and for us, it was a milestone but also sort of an emotional moment because somebody's actually using your product and you're making them happy."

The innovative coffin also features a moss bed, which lines the inside of the coffin to "start decomposing the body much faster than the normal process because this is the way nature intended it," according to Hendrikx.

The production process can take several weeks and every mycelium-based coffin costs between €1,500 and €2,000 ($1,776 to $2,368). The mycelium is grown in the shape of a coffin and once ready, dried naturally which stops its growth. When exposed to groundwater, the mycelium comes alive, starting the breakdown process.

A Dutch funeral company has already included the mycelium-based coffin in their commercial offering.

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