We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here

Sand Wars

not currently available
Add this to your watchlist to find out when it is available via broadcast or catch-up.
Watchlist
ADVERTISEMENT

Review

Probably the most fascinating – and angriest – documentary you’ll see for a while. Each year, the world uses an unimaginable 15 billion tons of sand to fuel the global boom in construction and road-building. But where does that sand come from, and is this pillaging of the planet’s third most useful resource, after air and water, possibly sustainable?

As one researcher says, “It’s like the air we breathe; you don’t think about it, but you can’t live without it.” But increasingly, people are having to live without the magical properties of sea sand (desert sand just won’t do – it’s the shape of the grains). From Morocco to Indonesia, sand is being smuggled from coastlines or dredged from sea beds to be sold to developers in Dubai or Singapore. And the popularity of damming is preventing sand from even getting to the sea in the first place.

The figures are astonishing; the greed and shortsightedness on display here are appalling. Enjoy your beach holidays now; they might not be around for long.

Summary

An investigation into sand, one of the most consumed natural resources on the planet. Due to high demand, reserves are now threatened and three-quarters of the world's beaches are in decline. It is a source of silicon dioxide, a mineral found in a variety of household goods including toothpaste, paper and cleaning products, and it is also used in the making of many structures such as bridges and pavements.

Nature

Have Your Say What did you think of Sand Wars?

view all comments (0)