Sand Depletion & Sustainable Alternatives
A recent article in the Guardian claims, “In the past few years, China has used more cement than the US used in the entire 20th Century!”
A terrifying statistic considering also that one of the components of cement concrete/mortar/render is sand, a natural resource that is non-renewable.
This article describes the scale of the depletion of natural sands and the effects that is having on the environment e.g eroding shorelines, disturbing ecosytems and undermining structures like bridges across the world.
Being alarmed by the environmental effects of the construction industry was one of the earlier drivers of the business and large scale sand extraction was one of the issues that we felt that we could do something about! So we over the last 20 years have worked to trial various sand alternatives in our plasters and renders, to avoid the depletion of this natural resources.
Some of these products, that we are extremely proud to have developed/brought to market, include our lime hemp plaster (using hemp fibres - a natural renewable fibre which gives some insulation and adds robustness) and glaster, our lime plaster made with recycled glass aggregate (for every tonne of recycled glass used, 1.2 tonnes of raw materials are preserved, and it gives a surface finish with a difference!) and ecoCork plaster using cork as the aggregate (the inclusion of cork gives the plaster additional benefits including insulation and it can be used externally).