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Japan is calling on its citizens to help collect old electronics to make 100% recycled Tokyo 2020 medals

A person's waste is the treasure of another man – that is why the Olympians will receive recycled garbage as their prizes at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. That's right, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has created an innovative, environmentally conscious company, the Medal Project, in which they will make approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals from recycled consumer electronics, such as telephones.

Image credits: TeamUSA

The committee states on their page that they are aiming for 100% recycled content, which will be a first in the history of the game: "We will focus on a recycling percentage of 100% when refining gold, with respect for the environment by the use of scrap in the manufacture of medals, and the use of Japanese technological expertise. "

Image credits: TeamUSA

Although the use of recycled materials is not a completely new concept, the committee wanted to go a step further by involving their citizens in this environmentally friendly push, another first for the games. Citizens in Japan will be able to donate their consumer electronics directly to the cause.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Donations for the medal project started in October 2018 with a target of 2,700 kg bronze, 30.3 kg gold and 4,100. The end date for collections is 31 March 2019.

Image credits: Tokyo2020

"It is estimated that the residual quantities of metal needed to make all Olympic and Paralympic medals can be extracted from the devices that have already been donated," said Tokyo 2020 organizers in a statement.

Image credits: tokyo2020

The Tokyo Organizing Committee not only cooperated with NTT DOCOMO, Japan's environmental remediation center, the Ministry of the Environment and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, but also local companies to realize their vision.

Image credits: Olympic

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, joined the Governor of Tokyo for a symbolic ceremony to show their commitment to the sustainability initiative and stated that they "were in the same boat and cooperated for the success of the Olympic Games".

Image credits: Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Three grams of golden tablets, left, can be extracted from 100 mobile phones, said the Tokyo Olympic organizers.

Image credits: LoriOki

Lori Okimura, the president, US Volleyball Board of Directors & representative of the only member (USAV) ​​who makes her donation.

Image credits: koichiro-tezuka

Although this initiative is only a tap in addressing a larger problem, it is an important problem. E-waste, waste from dumped electronics is the fastest growing waste problem in the world. According to a U.N report, 45 million tons of electronics were discarded globally in 2016 and only 20% of that waste was recycled.

Image credits: tokyo2020

From November 2018, a total of 1,594 municipalities, some 90 percent of the municipal authorities in Japan, participated in the project.

After the material has been collected, they go through a dismantling and melting process by accredited contractors

Image credits: jeplan

Disassembly

Image credits: minami-kinzoku

Extraction of gold

Image credits: tanaka

Refining

Image credits: tanaka

Pure gold

Image credits: tanaka

Watch their video to view the whole process

Image credits: Tokyo2020

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