Rethinking the use of sand for the circular economy – UNDP

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) highlighted  to reconsider the extraction and use of sand , the second-maximum used useful resource globally, in a new report.

The record launched with the aid of using UNEP’s Global Resource Information Database-Geneva crew April 26, 2022 presents important steerage accumulated from international specialists to exchange to progressed practices for the extraction and control of soil. Extracting sand in which it performs an energetic role, inclusive of rivers and coastal or marine ecosystems, can reason a sequence of damages to the surroundings, consistent with Sand and Sustainability.

 The damages include:
  •  Erosion,
  • Salination of aquifers,
  • Loss of safety in opposition to typhoon
  • surges,

Impacts on biodiversity. These demanding situations pose a hazard to livelihoods via water supply, meals production, fisheries, or to the tourism industry, the record stated.

Around 50 billion tonnes of sand and gravel is used each year, that’s sufficient to construct a wall 27 metres huge and 27 metres excessive round Earth, consistent with UNEP. Sand is getting used quicker than it is able to be obviously replenished, so its accountable control is crucial, it added.

Sand have to be known as a strategic useful resource, now no longer simplest as a fabric for construction, however additionally for its a couple of roles withinside the surroundings, stated the authors of the record.

They burdened that governments, industries and clients ought to rate sand in a manner that recognises its authentic social and environmental value.

Extraction of sand from seashores ought to be banned because of its significance for coastal resilience, the surroundings and the economy, the record recommended. It is the “maximum cost-powerful method for adapting to weather alternate because of the way it protects in opposition to typhoon surges and affects from sea degree rise”, the frame observed. An worldwide general on how sand is extracted from the marine surroundings ought to be developed, UNEP proposed withinside the record. This can result in dramatic enhancements as maximum marine dredging is executed via public tenders open to worldwide companies.

The want for brand new institutional and criminal systems for higher governance of the useful resource and involvement of stakeholders and want for “place-primarily based totally approaches” for higher control of the useful resource, the document underlined. Pascal Peduzzi, director of GRID-Geneva and general programme coordinator for this document, said: To attain sustainable development, we want to notably alternate the manner we produce, construct and eat products, infrastructures and services. Our sand sources aren’t infinite, and we want to apply them wisely. If we will get a grip on a way to control the maximum extracted strong cloth withinside the world, we will forestall a disaster and circulate closer to a round financial system. Sand provides “breeding grounds for various vegetation and fauna, and it additionally performs a important characteristic in assisting biodiversity, along with marine flowers that act as carbon sinks or clear out out water”, the document said, stressing why sand is crucial for maintaining lifestyles on earth. Solutions exist for transferring closer to a round financial system for sand, inclusive of banning the landfilling of mineral waste and inspiring sand to be reused in public procurement contracts, the document highlighted. Alternatives to sand like beaten rock or recycled production and demolition cloth, as nicely as ‘ore-sand’ from mine-tailings also can assist withinside the transition, the per the report by the Down to the earth magazine.

Sand utilisation

Sand is largely manufactured from unconsolidated granular substances together with both rock fragments or mineral debris or oceanic substances.It is especially manufactured from silicate minerals and silicate rock granular debris.The whole society is constructed on sand. It is the world’s maximum fed on uncooked fabric after water.

Primary substance: Sand is the number one substance used withinside the creation of roads, bridges, high-velocity trains or even land regeneration projects.

Glass Manufacturing: – Sand, gravel and rock beaten collectively are melted right all the way down to make the glass utilized in each window, laptop display and clever phone. Even the manufacturing of silicon chips makes use of sand.

Everywhere: It’s used to make food, wine, toothpaste, glass, microprocessors, splendor care products, paper, paint and plastics.

Infrastructure, houses, meals and nature at stake Sand is important to financial development, had to produce concrete and construct essential infrastructure starting from houses and roads to hospitals. By supplying habitats and breeding grounds for various plants and fauna, sand additionally performs a essential characteristic in assisting biodiversity, inclusive of marine vegetation that act as carbon sinks or clear out out water. The aid may be critical to accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling the triple planetary disaster of weather change, pollutants and biodiversity loss. However, it’s far getting used quicker than it is able to be certainly replenished, so its accountable control is critical.

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