Tokyo 2020 medals to be made from old mobile phones

The medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games will be made from recycled mobile phones and appliances. Citizens are being asked to donate their old phones and household appliances.

Japan has found a sustainable way to source the metal needed to make the 2020 Olympic medals.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee has launched an initiative urging the Japanese public to donate out-dated mobile phones and small household appliances.

Its goal is to gather eight tonnes of metal: 40 kg of gold, 2,920 kg of silver and 2,994 kg of bronze, reported Reuters. Two tonnes of metal are needed to make all 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals.

The initiative promotes sustainable, reduces costs and gives the public a sense of direct involvement in the Games, said the organisers.

“There’s quite a limit on the resources of our earth, and so recycling these things and giving them a new use will make us all think about the environment,” said Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi at a news conference on Wednesday.

“Having a project that allows all the people of Japan to take part in creating the medals that will be hung around athletes’ necks is really good.”

Beginning in April, collection boxes will be placed in local offices and NTT DoCoMo telecom stores, which is partnering with the environmental firm Japan Environmental Sanitation Center for the project.

The boxes will remain at these locations until all eight tonnes have been collected.

Former Japanese gymnast and a three-time Olympic gold medallist, Kohei Uchimura, is enthusiastic about the idea: “Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be made out of people’s thoughts and appreciation for avoiding waste. I think there is an important message in this for future generations.”


Image credit: Paul Hudson, flickr/Creative Commons

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