The overuse of sand is 'one of the major sustainability challenges of the 21st-century.'
- United Nations Environment Program, 2019
Sand is the hidden foundation of our society. In Sand Stories, Kiran Pereira maps out the big picture of why it is the most consumed commodity on the planet after water. The book also examines the impacts of our seemingly insatiable demand for sand on our global Sustainable Development Goals.
The concern is that sand is a non-renewable resource and not every kind of sand is useful. While the number of sand's uses beyond glass and concrete is growing, its sources are not. The good news is that there are solutions to this alarming global problem, including those that foster a circular economy. We now need the political will to enact them.
About the Author
Kiran Pereira was born and raised in India. She has an MSc in Environment and Development from King’s College, London where she explored the impacts of indiscriminate sand mining for her dissertation.
Kiran is the founder of SandStories.org, which works to find and promote solutions to the global sand crisis by building connections within science, policy and industry. Her work has been featured in the award-winning documentary Sand Wars and media such as The Economist, BBC Radio5, Al Jazeera among others. She currently lives in London.
'This is a wonderful book – and I can guarantee you will be both better informed and more inspired once you’ve read it. Sand may not sound like the stuff of a good read, but its omnipresence in our lives and its strategic significance gives the lie to that indifference. As the sub-title of ‘Sand Stories’ says, we are now facing a full-on global sand crisis, with hugely worrying environmental and economic implications. But Kiran Pereira shares with us a wealth of potential solutions for innovators and investors, planners and policymakers – as well as for a growing number of dedicated activists.'
- Jonathon Porritt CBE, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future;
'Sand is ubiquitous in our lives - think of glass and building materials - yet it remains hidden in plain sight. In Sand Stories, Kiran Pereira, tells us why sand mining is so neglected as a critical sustainability issue and what we need to do about it. We are taken through the history and impacts of the industry and the urgent reforms that will ensure its future sustainability. The book is well researched, skilfully written and beautifully illustrated. It will serve as an informative guide to curious sustainability practitioners, researchers and advocates alike.'
- Prof. Wayne Visser, author of Sustainable Frontiers;
'What's in a grain of sand? The whole world, it turns out. The stuff on the beach turns out, in the fascinating study, makes everything from Hong Kong islands to fibre-optic cables, and glue to cosmetics. It is whitening in our milk and makes the glass we drink it out of. It is so precious that sand mafias dig up national parks and wreck river systems to get at the stuff, and so vital that Australians export it to Dubai. This is a book in the grand tradition of worldly and captivating surveys of everyday materials that illuminate how humanity exploits our planet, for good and ill.'
- Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry: Water-The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century