Tokyo 2020: Finishing line in sight for sustainable medals

Mobile phones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops are being recycled to manufacture all the medals for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said it had already collected 47,488 tons of discarded electronic devices and more than five million used mobile phones by October last year.

It had set targets to extract 2,700kg of bronze, 4,100kg of silver and 30.3kg of gold, with the goal for bronze reached last June.

By October 2018, it also extracted more than 90% of the gold and 85% of the silver – and is on track to achieve both targets for the athletes’ medals by 31st March 2019.

The project, which attracted donations from the public and businesses, is part of Tokyo 2020’s efforts to draw attention to the importance of sustainability under its slogan ‘Be better together – for the planet and the people’.

Tokyo 2020 organisers said: “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 designs for the medals will be unveiled this summer.

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