Why The World is Running Out of Sand Leading to a Black Market

Our planet is facing a global sand shortage that has led to a violent black market. The continued scarcity will only have more concerning consequences.
Loukia Papadopoulos

A black market for sand? That does not sound like it could be true and yet it is.

In the past few years, our planet has been literally running out of sand. You might not think this is a big deal but sand, a key ingredient in cement, concrete and even electronics, is absolutely essential to our modern lives.

This necessity is so large and global demand so high that the current shortage has resulted in the emergence of violent black market gangs who steal the element wherever they can. The emergence of these criminals has seen the disappearance of dozens of small islands.

The UN has already warned about this ever growing scarcity. “In some places, sand is not abundant anymore, so we need to reconsider the way we are dealing with sand," said Pascal Peduzzi, head of the Global Change & Vulnerability Unit at the United Nations Environment Programme.

Meanwhile, the Club of Rome has released a worrying report on the deficit's dangers. “The production of many mineral commodities appears to be on the verge of decline… we may be going through a century-long cycle that will lead to the disappearance of mining as we know it," reads the report.