The politics of sand is a dirty business, and there’s plenty of it around – particularly in the tiny island-state of Singapore. Its voracious appetite for constructing mega-buildings and expanding its borders by filling in the sea has led to widespread ecological damage around the region. Indonesia has complained bitterly about its disappearing islands and banned the export of sand. So has Vietnam. Malaysia uses dealings over sand as a political bargaining chip when negotiating with Singapore, and countries further afield are also thinking twice about selling it sand.