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The world is running out of sand

Sheila Puffer, a university distinguished professor of international business at Northeastern whose research focuses on global sand prices and sustainable sand substitutes in the construction industry, elaborated on the global shortage of the non-renewable resource during a webinar on sustainable development and coastal erosion hosted by the university’s Young Global Leaders.


Puffer provided insights into where sand is created: in rivers, lakes, and seashores, and where it’s going: it’s used primarily to make materials such as asphalt, concrete, and cement in construction. Sand is also used to make window panes, cell phone screens, and sunglasses.