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Japanese public to donate mobile phones for production of #Tokyo2020 Olympics medals

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Olympic and Paralympic Games have traditionally always been about gold, silver and bronze, but organizers of Tokyo 2020 want their games to be remembered for being green.

This project highlights Tokyo 2020’s commitments to engage the whole Japanese nation and to offer to everyone the opportunity to play a role in the Games’ preparations. It also responds directly to Recommendation 4 of Olympic Agenda 2020 that states sustainability be integrated into all aspects of the planning and execution of the Games.

The Japanese public will be asked to donate old phones and small appliances to gather two tonnes of gold, silver and bronze for the 5,000 medals.

Organizers hope to get eight tonnes of metal from collection boxes which will be placed in local offices and telecoms stores around the country from April.

The project hopes 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.”

Members of Japan’s Olympic organising committee tabled the idea to government officials and companies in 2016.

Olympic host cities have traditionally obtained the metals from mining firms.

But Japan, which lacks its own mineral resources, is keen to take the theme of a sustainable future a step further.

How does e-waste recycling work?

Discarded consumer electronics such as smartphones and tablets contain small amounts of precious and rare earth metals, including platinum, palladium, gold, silver, lithium, cobalt and nickel.

Scrap cars and home appliances such as fridges and air conditioners also contain these rarer metals, along with base metals, including iron, copper, lead and zinc.

Recycling or refining companies either collect or purchase tons of this e-waste and industrial scraps. They then use chemical processes to separate the various metals.

Much of this work takes place in developing countries such as China, India and Indonesia.

Credit: CNN

1 Comment

  1. olorire

    February 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    this is fantastic!

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