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The Unsustainable Use of Sand: Reporting on a Global Problem

European School of Sustainability Science and Research, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Ulmenliet 20, D-21033 Hamburg, Germany
Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
Energy Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
WSB University in Wroclaw, ul. Fabryczna 29-31, 53-609 Wroclaw, Poland
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul—UFRGS, Porto Alegre 90040-060, Brazil
Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences, Theodor-Körner-Allee 16, D-02763 Zittau, Germany
Business Faculty, Babeş-Bolyai University, Horea 7, 400038 Cluj–Napoca, Romania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Boggia
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3356;
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 11 March 2021 / Accepted: 12 March 2021 / Published: 18 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact and Nature Conservation)
Sand is considered one of the most consumed natural resource, being essential to many industries, including building construction, electronics, plastics, and water filtration. This paper assesses the environmental impact of sand extraction and the problems associated with its illegal exploitation. The analysis indicates that extracting sand at a greater rate than that at which it is naturally replenished has adverse consequences for fauna and flora. Further, illicit mining activities compound environmental damages and result in conflict, the loss of taxes/royalties, illegal work, and losses in the tourism industry. As sea-level rise associated with climate change threatens coastal areas, sand in coastal areas will play an increasingly greater role in determining the amount of damage from floods and erosion. The present analysis points to the need for swift action to regulate sand mining, monitoring, law enforcement, and international cooperation. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; sand depletion; illegal sand mining; environmental impacts sustainability; sand depletion; illegal sand mining; environmental impacts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leal Filho, W.; Hunt, J.; Lingos, A.; Platje, J.; Vieira, L.W.; Will, M.; Gavriletea, M.D. The Unsustainable Use of Sand: Reporting on a Global Problem. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3356.

AMA Style

Leal Filho W, Hunt J, Lingos A, Platje J, Vieira LW, Will M, Gavriletea MD. The Unsustainable Use of Sand: Reporting on a Global Problem. Sustainability. 2021; 13(6):3356.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leal Filho, Walter, Julian Hunt, Alexandros Lingos, Johannes Platje, Lara W. Vieira, Markus Will, and Marius D. Gavriletea. 2021. "The Unsustainable Use of Sand: Reporting on a Global Problem" Sustainability 13, no. 6: 3356.

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