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Globally, it’s estimated that we mine as much as 50 billion metric tonnes of sand every year to build our roads, bridges, skyscrapers, homes and more. Rapid urbanization around the world has made sand a high value commodity, so much so that, for some, it’s even worth killing for. But not all sand is the same, and experts say some mining operations are damaging ecosystems, infrastructure and putting people in danger around the world.
1:06 How we use sand
3:46 Growing demand for sand
6:08 How we mine sand
7:33 Environmental effects
9:20 Sand mafias and cartels
11:14 Alternative building materials
13:04 The future of sand and concrete
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