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Tokyo Olympics 2020: 79,000 mobile phones, electronic wastes used to make medals

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project is unique, marking the first time that a country's citizens have proactively been involved in donating the electronic devices used to make the medals

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 29, 2019  | 16:15 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: 79,000 mobile phones, electronic wastes used to make medals
Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Both Torch and medals are made up of recycled material

With one year to go until the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the organising committee  has unveiled the Olympic torch and the designs for the winning athletes' bronze, silver and gold medals. This time, the Olympic torch as well as medals are being made from recycled material. According to the Tokyo Olympics organisation, part of the material from which the torch is made is recycled aluminium which  was used to build temporary shelters after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

The medals have been created from electronic devices including used mobile phones from all over Japan.

The organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project involved citizens to manufacture medals using recycled metals.  Under the theme "Be better, together - for the planet and the people", the Olympic committee intended to make one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable Games so far. The project attracted donations and support from 1,300 educational institutions and 2,100 electronics retail stores across Japan.

The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project was started in April 2017 and concluded in March this year.  Under this project  1,741 cities - over 90 per cent - of Japanese cities participated in this medal manufacturing drive. As per official figures,  78,985 tonnes mobile phones and other consumer electronics collected by municipalities across Japan were used for the medals.   

However, this is not the  first time a country has made medals from recycled material. The eco-friendly idea was implemented in  previous Olympics as well -- most recently at the Rio Olympics 2016, where an estimated 30 per cent of the silver and bronze medals originated from recycled materials.

But the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project is unique, marking the first time that a country's citizens have proactively been involved in donating the electronic devices used to make the medals.

Ultimately the project extracted 32kg of gold, 3500kg of silver, and 2,200kg  of bronze from the devices it collected. In addition to recycling metal, Tokyo 2020 will use household plastic to create podiums for the medal ceremonies.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will kick off on July 24 and will run till August 9, 2020.

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