Shifting sand: Why we’re running out of aggregate

With global demand for building sand tripling in the last 20 years, unregulated sand mining is decimating rivers and coastlines in the developing world, enabled by political corruption and “sand mafias”.

This article outlines the contours of the problem and records new attempts to find sustainable substitutes for use in concrete.

As our “sand budget” heads into the red, there are even calls to begin designing concrete out as a default construction material.

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