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The E-waste Medal Project at Tokyo 2020

Pearl Manandar

Posted on July 30, 2019 15:14

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The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been unveiled and are made out of electronic waste collected from its people through donation of mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices.

A year from now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be almost a week old. And exactly one year from today, we will have a few athletes proudly wearing their new medals. And these shiny new metals will be made from over 80,000 tons of electronic waste that includes more than 6 million recycled mobile phones. Phew! The numbers look intense, and it’s almost a week now since the medal designs were made public. 

Back in 2017, Japan launched a project and invited its citizens to collaborate for the games’ preparations. They asked people to donate electronic devices and managed to collect close to 80,000 tons of electronics. These devices were further dismantled and then the metals were extracted out of them. This is a first in the history of the Olympic Games that a country has tried to involve its citizens and created medals out of the electronic goods donated by them.

The mantra for the Olympics is sustainability, and Japan wanted this collaborative effort to make the planet and people better and stronger. When the athletes flaunt their medals in a year's time, Japan will have sent out an important message through them. Avoid waste and make the planet more livable for future generations.

They have also managed to create awareness through their recycling initiative. Recycled electronic waste from the past two years is what the medals will carry, which aligns with Japan's goal of keeping the games environmentally friendly. The Rio 2016 games had 30% recycled materials in their medals, but Tokyo 2020 has taken it a step further and furthered the new tradition of making the medals completely from electronic waste.

It doesn’t stop there. The podiums for the games will be made of plastic – shampoo bottles which have also been donated by the public and which will be further recycled once the games are over. The volunteer uniforms will have recycled materials obtained from plants. Timber will be used to create the Olympic village and will be reused as public benches once the games are over. The next innovation is a personal favorite and tops the list: Toyota will provide zero-emission vehicles during the games, keeping in mind Japan’s carbon reduction agenda.

While the issue of climate change is being discussed on all social media platforms, Tokyo 2020 is clearly addressing this issue by raising awareness, educating people all over the world, and engaging them in a global event.

Pearl Manandar

Posted on July 30, 2019 15:14

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Source: Tech2

Tokyo Olympic organizers on Wednesday called on the Japanese public to donate old smartphones and other old electronic devices...

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