The Netherlands: Actively composting coffin developed


The Living Force
Source: A growing business: Dutch develop 'living' coffin made of mushroom mycelium -

A growing business: Dutch develop ‘living’ coffin made of mushroom mycelium

September 14, 2020

Dutch designers are claiming a world first with a funeral in which the deceased person was buried in a moss-filled coffin made of mycelium: the underground fungal network of mushrooms.

The Living Cocoon was developed by Bob Hendrikx, together with researchers from Delft University of Technology and the Naturalis natural history museum, and has already been incorporated into the coffin collections offered by two Dutch funeral companies.

‘The Living Cocoon enables people to become one with nature again and to enrich the soil, instead of polluting it,’ says Hendrikx. ‘‘After months of development, it was a really impressive moment to be finally able to mark someone’s passing in this extraordinary way.’

The speed at which a body composts depends on various conditions but it can take over a decade. The varnished and metal parts of a coffin, as well as synthetic clothing, can persist for even longer.

Hendrikx expects that the mycelium coffin will be able to complete this entire process in two to three years, because it actively contributes to the composting process. Not only are the waste products from the human body converted into nutrients but the quality of the surrounding soil is also improved, giving it new life and an opportunity to thrive.


The production process takes several weeks and the mycelium is grown in the shape of a coffin and then dried naturally, pausing its growth. Once it has been exposed to ground water for some time, the mycelium starts to live again, starting the composting process.

The coffins themselves are lightweight but can carry up to 200 kilos in weight. The first 10 have now been ‘grown’, and the company hopes to be able to expand abroad in the near future.


While the Dutch coffin may be a first, in 2015, Californian designer Jae Rhim Lee developed a suit embedded with mushroom spores to speed up decomposition and neutralize toxins the human body releases.

Actor Luke Perry was reportedly buried in a ‘mushroom death suit’ when he died after a heart attack last year.

Similar coverage: Netherlands' first burial in a living coffin


Photo: Loop of Life


Loop of Life living coffin - Image: Loop of Life/Loop of Life


FOTCM Member
I could be wrong, but the above comes across as part and parcel of the Green Deal, just like all these 'solar parks' they have been setting up lately.:umm:


The Living Force
UPDATE: "Living coffin" the latest trend as more people want sustainable burial

Sunday, September 12, 2021 - 11:30

"Living coffin" the latest trend as more people want sustainable burial

One year ago, researchers at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) first developed a ‘living coffin’ that helps convert human remains to nutrients. Since then, nearly 100 people have chosen to be buried in the so-called Living Cocoon, reported (in Dutch).

“I think it gives people a good feeling to still do something good for the earth, instead of leaving behind a scar”, designer Bob Hendrikx told

Conventional coffins can release substances that contaminate the earth around them over time. The Living Cocoon, on the other hand, is meant to enrich the soil around it, instead of polluting it.

The sustainable coffin created by TU Delft in collaboration with Naturalis is made of the living organism mycelium, a network of several fungi. The fungi look for waste material in their surroundings to convert them into nutrients for the environment. Thus, the Living Coffin contributes to the biodiversity in the soil around it and helps plants grow.

“The coffin is broken down within 45 days and thinks toxins in the ground are really tasty”, Hendrikx said.

The developers have now been working on increased their production capacity to accommodate the large demand for the sustainable coffin. “We have a lack of space in the Netherlands. How nice would it be if you could transform polluted areas into a place where people are converted into forests”, Hendrikx wondered.

Currently, the price of the living coffin lies above the cost of a conventional coffin at 1,495 euros a piece. Once the production process has been automated, Hendrikx hoped that the coffin will become more affordable.
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