Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Tokyo to use recycled materials for Olympic medals

Tokyo to use recycled materials for Olympic medals

It will be the first time the Japanese capital has hosted the Games since 1964.

Dancers perform during the "Love Sport Tokyo 2020" segment during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tokyo's organising committee in 2017 launched a project to collect assorted electronic waste - including old smartphones and laptops - from the public to collect metal for the medals.

Tokyo 2020 claimed this is "thanks to the huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and worldwide athletes". As of the end of last October, the bodies had collected 93.7 percent of the gold and 85.4 percent of the silver needed.

Tokyo 2020 will release the designs of its medals later this year.

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Stations located at post offices and other public buildings collected other electronic devices.

All Olympic and Paralympic medals can be made from devices already donated, the committee is estimating, with nationwide collection scheduled to stop on 31 March. The gold medal will be gold plated over a silver base, with 30.3 kilograms of gold, 4,100 kilograms of silver and 2,700 kilograms of copper required for production.

Around 47,488 tons of old devices had been collected by October a year ago, with more than 5m mobile phones handed over. The IOC requires gold medals to contain at least six grams of gold and 92.5 percent silver, and gold medals at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics were worth about $570 each.

"We have just begun working on systems that can connect the athletes to the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) absolutely straight, transparent and quick", he added.

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