The global sand industry is running out of time, and the UK landscaping market needs to seek appropriate alternatives or see profits slip through the cracks.
50 billion tonnes of aggregate are used every year, and global population growth, urbanisation and development are driving large increases in international demand for sand and other aggregates. This is resulting in not only the disappearance of riverbeds and shorelines worldwide, but an escalating trade in black market sand and increased sand piracy.
Awareness of the global sand crisis is escalating, and scientists worldwide are finding solutions to replace sand in concrete with other materials. The construction and landscaping industry will always require sand and aggregate to build safely; however, we should seek to reduce our use of these primary resources and think outside the box when it comes to decreasing our dependence on aggregates.
Azpects Ltd has been working on a solution to the aggregate problem when creating patios, paths, and driveways. Their new product, EASYClickBase, is a synthetic sub-base which replaces the traditional ‘dig-out’ part of the creation process, saving time, money and – importantly – aggregate. Early feedback suggests that for a 60m2 domestic vehicular driveway EASYClickBase reduces excavation by 75% and replacement aggregate by 80%.
EASYClickBase replaces the traditional full mortar laying bed, reducing the need for sand and cement in that phase of installation. Thin surface dressings, such as porcelain tiles, can be glued directly to the sub-base, while block paving can be laid on a thin layer of bedding sand. Made from 100% recycled plastic, EASYClickBase has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of landscaping projects.
The combination of cost savings and eco credentials couldn’t come at a better time. In a recent webinar titled ‘Consumer Trends in a Post-Pandemic World’, trend analysts Scarlet Opus suggested the environmental movement has been brought forward 5+ years in consumers’ minds. Whilst we may never be able to completely halt the hourglass on the use of sand and aggregates, new innovations like EASYClickBase may help us slow the tide to a trickle for the landscaping industry.
 Figures are approximate and dependent on site conditions.