Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be made from recycled smartphones

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be made from recycled smartphones

"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, ' said the committee in a statement.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee is expected to reach its target of unwanted electronics to extract metals to manufacture the Olympic winners' medals. Almost 50,000 tons of devices, including cameras, games consoles and laptops, plus more than five million smartphones, were collected for the Old Metals New Medals project across Japan over 18 months since it opened.

This means that all of the 2020 Olympic medals will potentially have iPhone and Android parts in them.

Collection of the metals from discarded small devices began in April 2017. As of the end of last October, the bodies had collected 93.7 percent of the gold and 85.4 percent of the silver needed.

The project ends on March 31st, with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic showing its medal designs sometime in the summer.

Tokyo 2020 organisers have announced they will achieve their target of collecting enough recycled waste to make the medals for the Games.

By November 2018, a grand total of 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices had already been donated to Tokyo's municipal authorities, with an additional five million phones handed over by customers of a major local wireless service provider. For instance, the committee collected 2,700 kg of bronze, 28.4 kg of gold and 4,100 kg of silver required for the medals from the e-waste.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has promised "surgical" precision in distribution of funds to athletes preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games, asserting that centralisation of the process has made bureaucratic hurdles a thing of past.

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