The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has aimed at creating all the medals for the Games next year from discarded electronic devices. It has announced that the nationwide (in Japan) collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices for the ‘Medal Project Goals’ is expected to reach its targets and will end on March 31.
Thanks to the huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and international athletes, it is estimated that the remaining amounts of metals required to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals can be extracted from the devices already donated.
The collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices – smartphones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops – was launched in Japan in April 2017. As of November 2018, about 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores and a total of 1,594 municipal authorities across Japan were acting as collection centres for discarded devices. Approximately 47,488 tons of discarded devices had been collected by municipal authorities across Japan and over 5 million used mobile phones handed in at NTT DOCOMO stores as of October 2018, Tokyo 2020 has stated on its official website.
The targeted amount of bronze (2,700kg approximately) was already extracted from these discarded devices by June of last year. By October 2018, 28.4kg of gold (93.7% of the targeted 30.3kg) and 3,500kg of silver (85.4% of the targeted 4,100kg) had been sourced from the donated junk.
Source: Tokyo 2020
The project has offered the public an opportunity to play an important role in the Games’ preparations, at the same time drawing attention to the importance of sustainability under the Tokyo 2020 slogan ‘Be better, together — for the planet and the people’. Their cooperation will help to promote sustainability in Japan, one of Tokyo 2020’s planned legacies.
The designs for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be unveiled dying the summer.