Games.Olympic 2020 games medals to be made entirely from recycled electronics

Games.Olympic 2020 games medals to be made entirely from recycled electronics

The organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic officially unveiled its Olympic medal designs this week.

While on the surface they might look like any other medal, these will be made from something a little different: recycled electronics.

In April 2017 the organizing committee launched a campaign to collect old electronics from the public for the project.

The metals were then harvested from these donated electronics. Many electronics, especially cell phones, contain small amounts of precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum.

It collected 47,488 tons of discarded devices, and over 5 million used cell phones. Ultimately it was able to extract 32kg (70.5 pounds) of gold, 3500kg (7,716 pounds) of silver, and 2,200kg (4,850 pounds) of bronze from the devices it collected.

Previous Olympic medals have used recycled materials in their contraction, but Tokyo claims that 2020 will be the first Olympics where the gold medals will be made using entirely recovered metal.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will each be 85mm in diameter and measure 7.7mm at their thinnest and 12mm at their thickest parts.

Japan is planning sustainability efforts for the upcoming games.

In addition to recycling metal, Tokyo 2020 will use household plastic and marine plastic waste to create podiums for the medal ceremonies and produce Olympic Torch relay uniforms with recycled plastic bottles.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics kick off in roughly a year, on July 24 and run through August 9, 2020. 

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