World’s first mycelium coffin now covered by Dela, Netherlands’ largest burial insurer. From 20 to 3 years to decompose after being buried

Developed by Dutch research startup Loop Biotech, the Living Cocoon is a casket made of mycelium. It takes 7 days to grow using local waste ingredients and 30–45 days to disappear once in the earth. A human body buried in a mushroom casket is estimated to decompose within 3 years, versus 10 to 20 in traditional caskets or coffins.

Not only is the process faster, it’s also cleaner. Toxins in the human body — like metals and microplastics — are neutralized by networks of fungi and bacteria, preventing toxins from polluting the soil.

The innovation will take off as Dela — the country’s leading burial insurance provider — has announced that it’s including Loop’s caskets in its range of funeral products for both burials and cremations. While soil-feeding benefits are lost when a body is cremated, a mycelium casket is still the most sustainable option since it can be grown in days instead of the years needed to provide wood for traditional coffins.

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