Tokyo 2020 medals to be made from recycled mobile phones

goldTokyo 2020 Olympics organizers have asked the people in Japan to donate unwanted electronic devices so the metal can be used to help make medals for the Games.

Some 5,000 medals will be needed for the Olympics and Paralympics in Japan and it is hoped eight tons of metal – including 40kg of gold, 4,920kg of silver and 2,944kg of bronze – can be gathered to help obtain the two tons needed after the production process is complete.

Collection boxes will be installed in more than 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores from April this year as well as an ‘undecided number of public offices throughout the country’ in an aim to meet the target.

Tokyo 2020 said the move was part of the ‘commitments to engage the whole Japanese nation and to offer to everyone the opportunity to play a role in the Games’ preparations’, as well as meeting sustainability recommendations.

Commenting on the initiative, Japan’s gymnast Kohei Uchimura, who won team and all-round gold in Rio to add to his title at London 2012, said: ‘Computers and smart phones have become useful tools.

‘However, I think it is wasteful to discard devices every time there is a technological advance and new models appear.

‘In the field of sport, gymnastics techniques too have evolved as a result of the efforts made by athletes in the past.

‘Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be made out of people’s thoughts and appreciation for avoiding waste.

‘I think there is an important message in this for future generations.’