The Toyko 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games are ready to set off on in July next year and the medals have finally been unveiled.
What’s different about next years’ Olympics is that Japan’s golden, silver and bronze medals have been made entirely out of electronic waste – 78,985 tonnes of it. According to the Toyko 2020 Medal Project, 6.1 million mobile phones have been recycled to create the medals.
The recycling process has said to include dismantling and sorting of 158 million pounds of donated electronics, extracting 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver and 2,200 kilograms of bronze.
This project shows how old IT equipment and gadgets can be put to good use and be recycled for the greater good. Recycling materials for their medals is an inspiring way to improve e-waste recycling rates and reduce the number of electronics that go to landfill in Japan.
“We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Tokyo 2020 said.
Here are the medals designed by Junichi Kawanishi, including the signature five rings. Around 5,000 medals are estimated to be given out, according to Tokyo 2020.
This is a great step to an innovative future of circular electronic waste and hopefully it will encourage more people worldwide to think twice before disposing of old gadgets, realising the potential in IT recycling.
We look forward to the medals being awarded in 2020.