Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Science | By

Tokyo Olympic Games medals to be made from recycled electronic waste

Tokyo Olympic Games medals to be made from recycled electronic waste

A Tokyo recycling program thought it would be only natural to mine the precious metals needed to create the 2020 Olympic awards from old electronics, including smartphones (via The Verge).

All the medals at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will be made from recycled electronic waste, say organisers.

In April 2017, the organising committee launched an initiative to recoup unwanted electronic devices with companies across Japan, as well as athletes and the general public, lending their support to the drive. Recycled metal has also been collected from local Japanese businesses and industry.

By November a year ago, municipal authorities had already collected 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices, with the public handing in another five million used phones to a local network provider.

Fast-forward to its update this month, and the committee revealed that it has now hit 93.7-percent and 85.4-percent of its gold and silver targets, respectively.


On Thursday, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced that they're expected to reach the goal for their nationwide collection of discarded devices.

It managed to extract the 2,700kg of copper (used to make bronze) required for its medal haul by June 2018, and had reached 93.7 per cent of its 30.3kg gold and 85.4 per cent of its 4,100kg silver goals by October past year.

Britain, which has never won a medal in Olympic basketball, claimed 67 medals, including 27 golds, at the 2016 Rio Games.

The design of the Tokyo medals will be unveiled later this year.

Like this: