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“Green” medals at the Olympic games of Tokyo


Can you imagine that gold, silver and bronze parts of the old mobile phone you recently recycled, could end up in the hands of a proud Olympic or Paralympic medal winner?

Image credit: Reuters

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizers announced that the medals for the winners of the sports events will be made from e-waste including discarded smartphones, cameras and laptops. 47,488 tons of devices have been received by municipalities, in the framework of a project targeting to gather 30.3 kg of gold, 4100kg of silver and 2700kg of bronze.

In the Rio 2016 Games, 30% of silver and bronze medals were made of recycled materials. Tokyo 2020 are taking the challenge to the next level, aiming at 100% recycled medals and actively involving the public in the race, asking for donations of unwanted old electronics. 100% of the required bronze, 90% of the gold and 85% of the silver have already been collected.

In fact, the medal project is only one of the components of the green policy drafted for the Games. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing committee made a point in incorporating seventeen sustainability measures in the Games.

They set the logo “Be better, together – For the planet and the people” and set sustainability goals including use of fuel cell vehicles and public transportation, reuse and recycling of 99% of procured goods and items, 100% renewable electricity and sustainable sourcing of materials. Regardless of the final score on the “Sustainability Race”, Tokyo 2020 are already raising awareness and encouraging social responsibility in tackling the most pressing global problem.

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