Recycling plan for Olympic medals on track

Katie Ramirez
February 10, 2019

The decision to launch the new fund is widely seen as a softening of the elite sport body's "no compromise" approach, under which only sports with an expectation of winning a medal at Olympic or Paralympic Games receive support.

All medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be made from metal collected by recycling electronic waste, games organisers said on Friday. Almost 50,000 tons of devices, including cameras, games consoles and laptops, plus more than five million smartphones, were collected for the Old Metals New Medals project across Japan over 18 months since it opened. As of November, about 2,400 NTT DOCOMO mobile phone operator stores and 1,594 municipal authorities across Japan were acting as collection centers for these old gadgets.

By November previous year, 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices had been collected, with the public handing in another five million used phones to a local network provider. While the target for bronze and silver has been attained, the gold remains bit short.

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The finalized designs for Tokyo 2020 medals will be released later this year.

On Thursday, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced that they're expected to reach the goal for their nationwide collection of discarded devices. According to local publication The Japan Times, the program collected all of the necessary bronze by June 2018, as well as about half of the approximately 67lbs of gold and around half of the more than 9,000lbs of silver.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, about 30 per cent of the silver and bronze in medals came from recycled materials.

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