Aggregates are essential to our economy and quality of life. They are the main constituent of the foundation and fabric of our built environment, onshore, offshore above ground, on the ground and below our feet.
This report highlights pressure points that may come to bear on some traditional sources of aggregates, through restricted availability and limited access to particular mineral resources.
In this report based on data from 2020, MPA estimates that 28% of aggregates for construction come from recycled and secondary sources – some 62 million tonnes in 2020. That means the mineral products industry recycles more than any other sector by volume and places Britain among the leading recyclers of construction materials in Europe.
Building new homes and delivering high-quality infrastructure projects will help ensure that the post-Covid recovery is greener, more sustainable and supports all regions of the country.
For the construction sector to deliver for the UK economy, it is essential that the rail freight industry is able to transport the essential construction materials i.e. aggregates and cement efficiently, reliably and sustainably to sites in Birmingham and throughout the Midlands.
The 9th Annual Mineral Planning Survey, AMPS 2021, reports on mineral planning data for 2020. This report is set against the backdrop of decreasing aggregate sales in 2019 (-4.8%) and 2020 (-8.8%) compared to 2018. The slowdown in market sales in 2019 was partly attributed to Brexit related uncertainty that impacted particularly commercial construction projects. The decline in sales in 2020 reflects the impact of the first Covid lockdown, although demand rebounded quickly over the second half of the year and in 2021.
The Crown Estate and the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) have published the 23rd annual 'Area Involved' report, which details changes in the extent of the seabed area licensed and dredged for marine aggregates during 2020.
This policy paper calls for reform of the mineral planning system to ensure future supply to support housing and infrastructure construction, manufacturing and other key strategic sectors of the economy. The paper highlights the essential role of mineral products and the fundamental importance of the planning system for ensuring supply as the economy recovers.
The rail freight of aggregates, cement and other mineral products is a national sustainability success story. Over the last five years the rail freight tonnage of these materials has increased by 21% and is now the largest user of the rail freight network in terms of tonnes carried. This ensures that construction demands are met while carbon emissions and road congestion are reduced.
The Minerals Safeguarding Practice Guidance explains how Local and Mineral Planning Authorities should protect mineral resources and infrastructure from development through the planning system. A sufficient supply of minerals and mineral products is essential to the economy and our quality of life.
The briefing is a contribution to the current global debate regarding the availability, access to and consumption of sand. In recent years there has been increasing attention on the demand for sand, the potential for global shortages and the consequences of unregulated extraction as the link has been made between the societal demands for homes and infrastructure and the associated pressures that this can place on finite mineral resources, particularly at a local scale. While the references to resource pressures have typically focussed on ‘sand’, what is usually being referred to are construction aggregates more generally, and particularly sand and gravel supply.
The Construction Sector Deal indicates that around 120 million tonnes (mt) of Construction, Demolition and Excavation Waste (CDEW) is generated by construction activity every year. The new MPA report uses Defra data to demonstrate that 76% of all CDEW is currently being recycled or recovered back into the 'chain of utility' by the minerals and waste management industries.
This report highlights the critical importance to London of protecting wharves and railheads in the capital from other types of development. Without effective protection the supply of essential construction materials would be threatened, jeopardising homebuilding and infrastructure improvements, and leading to worse air quality and road safety.
Outlining the industry's vision, the Strategy sets out three aims; to minimise water consumption, to prioritise use of the most sustainable water sources and to protect the water environment by sustainably managing water being used and passing through its Members' sites.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries.
Mineral Products Association, Gillingham House, 38-44 Gillingham Street, London SW1V 1HU
T: 0207 963 8000