Olympic and Paralympic medals for the 2020 Games in Tokyo will be made entirely from recycled gadgets.

The plan is for the Japanese public to donate old phones and other small appliances. This will help gather 2 tonnes of precious metals needed for the 5,000 medals required.

Collection boxes will be placed in local offices and telecoms stores from April and will remain there until the metal required has been collected.

The idea was first tabled by members of Japan’s Olympic organising committee in 2016.

Yet Japan, which lacks its own mineral resources, is keen to take the theme of a sustainable future a step further. The project is designed to promote sustainability and reduce costs.

“A project that allows the people of Japan to take part in creating the medals is really good,” said Tokyo 2020 sports director Koji Murofushi.

“There’s a limit on the resources of our earth, so recycling these things will make us think about the environment.”

Japan’s new medals will not be the first to be produced using recycled materials. According to the International Olympic Committee, the 5,130 medals produced for the 2016 Rio Olympics were made from 30 percent recycled metals. Silver was extracted from mirrors, solder and x-ray plates whilst copper for the bronze medals came from waste produced by the Brazilian mint.

Tokyo 2020 has said it will be the first games where all of the gold medals are produced entirely from recovered metals.

It’s great to see eWaste recycling being used on such a big platform. Hopefully it will inspire more organisations to follow suit and reduce the amount of eWaste sent to landfill each year.

If you would like any help with responsibly disposing of your business’ IT waste then call us on 0161 777 1000.

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