Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals will be made from 80,000 tons of discarded mobile phones and gadgets

We are less than a year away from the 2020 Summer Olympics that is set to take place in Tokyo and we’ve already started to get a lot of news and stories related to the upcoming mega sporting event. One such news is about the beautiful medals that will be awarded to the athletes at net year’s games. Along with revealing the design of the medals, Tokyo 2020 announced that all the gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medals, roughly 5000 of them, will be crafted out of old cellphones and other electronic gadgets, making them truly special. It all started two years back when the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project was launched by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that led to the collection of nearly 80,000 tons of mobile phones and small electronic devices around Japan.

The official website for the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project reports that the e-junk collected over the last two years which were all donated by the public consisted of over 6 million cellphones. The discarded electronics was the source of all the precious metals required for making the medals, which include gold, silver, and bronze, along with copper and zinc. According to reports, approximately 71 pounds of gold, 7,700 pounds of silver, and 4,850 pounds of bronze were extracted from the donated gadgets, amounting to 100% of the metals that are needed to make the shiny awards. “I am convinced that Japanese metal molding techniques and the superb design have combined well and that we have the best medal in the world—one that we can be proud of,” said Ryohei Miyata, the chair of the Tokyo 2020 medal design selection panel. “There is also a beautiful balance between the design of the medals and their ribbons. It makes me want to strive for a medal myself.”


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