Tokyo 2020 Olympics…medals will be made from recycled electronics

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and more commonly known as Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to take place from 24th July to 9th August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan has chosen to make all 2020 Olympic medals from discarded smartphones and laptops, digital cameras.  Organisers say Tokyo say gold, silver and bronze will be extracted from obsolete gadgets.

The winning designs for the medals were selected after a nationwide competition was open to both professional designers and design students.  Out of more than 400 entries, the ideas presented by Junichi Kawanishi, Director of the Japan Sign Design Association and the Osaka Design Society was selected as the winner.

The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project is a landmark recycling initiative which ensured that each one has been moulded entirely from metal extracted from recycled consumer electronics over the past two years.

Previous Olympic Games have used recycled metal to manufacture medals, but Tokyo 2020 will be the first to mine material from discarded electronic devices. Organizers claim that all gold medals will be made 100 percent from recycled materials.

TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) aims to make these the most environmentally friendly and sustainable Games so far.  The uniforms for the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay will be produced in part using recycled plastic bottles. The victory ceremony podiums will be made from recycled household and marine plastic waste.  45 tonnes of household plastic will go towards making the podiums.

The organisers of the Tokyo  2020 Medal Project are hoping that this drive for a sustainable society will not end with the Olympic medals themselves. They are now calling on business owners, local authorities and the Japanese public to continue donating used household appliances, to reuse the metal for community purposes, including the creation of medals for local sports events across Japan.