The world could be facing a shortage of an underappreciated yet crucial commodity in the years ahead: sand.
Sand is used in the construction and manufacturing of everything from buildings to roadways, bridges, windows, computer screens, semiconductors and more. This has helped make sand mining the largest mining industry in the world.
“We don’t think about it like a strategic resource, and yet it is everywhere in our societies and our economies,” Louise Gallagher of the United Nations Environment Programme told CNBC.
However, sand use around the world has tripled in the last twenty years as global industrialization has increased, according to UNEP. This is causing concern over a potential shortage, which could have ripple effects around the world.
Watch the video above to learn more about what’s behind the looming sand crisis, the ways sand is used and how this sustainability challenge can be combatted and managed by policy and regulation.