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Call to use recycled sand to preserve natural resource

The Sheehan Group has appealed for the construction industry to further embrace recycled sand – to help preserve the threatened natural resource.

A recent United Nations Report revealed sand is the second most consumed resource on Earth and is on the endangered natural resource list. Globally around 13 billion tonnes of sand is mined for construction and the impact on the environment is vast and unsustainable.

It is second only to water as the most used resource on Earth and the demand is expected to reach 20 billion tonnes by 2030. In China, Africa and across South East Asia sand is being stolen with little recourse and the ecological effects are devastating.

Sand extraction is linked to urban growth and demand is increasing. China alone has used more construction sand in recent years than the United States in the 20th Century. The UN states the world’s population is 4 billion and expected to reach 7 billion by 2050.

Construction industry 

The construction industry is the biggest consumer of sand with around 13 billion tonnes mined globally for building – but there are alternative and sustainable solutions. The Circular Driven Economy and Sustainable Construction movement is a fast-growing concept which supports recycling construction materials.

Via the Sheehan Group’s CDE recycling plant in Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, construction and demolition waste is recycled to create sand and aggregate. It prevents waste from going into landfill and produces high quality materials, including sand, which can be re-used in construction projects.

Sustainable sand

Katie Sheehan, Sales and Logistics Manager at the Sheehan Group, said: “It’s important that awareness of the fact sand is on the endangered natural resource list is increased and steps are taken to address it.

“Natural resources will not be able to cope with on-going demand, but there are excellent alternatives available that are sustainable for the construction industry.

“More and more contractors are embracing recycled sand to use in construction projects and helping make a difference to the climate emergency. But we are keen to educate more contractors and help drive continued progress.”

While sand is prominently used in construction it is also used in many products including smartphone screens and glass bottles.

The Sheehan Group produces high-grade construction quality coarse sand and fine sand which is available to contractors in bulk. The largest sand available for delivery or collection from the Sheehan Group’s Dix Pitt Aggregate Recycling Facility in Stanton Harcourt is for 0-4mm sharp sand, which is also known as grit sand or coarse sand.

The specification is:
✅BS EN 13242
✅BS EN 12620