Tokyo Olympics 2021 to Award Athletes Environmentally-Friendly Medals Made of E-Waste

Published 06/30/2021, 9:55 AM EDT


Tokyo Olympics 2021 and Paralympics 2021 have tried to give back to society with greener innovations. As each day passes, people around the world generate a lot of e-waste.

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And seeing this, the organizers took note and started the ‘medal project’, that utilizes the e-waste in Japan to make medals.

A general view of the new National Stadium prior to a media tour of Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues on July 03, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The organizers have collected small electronic devices such as used mobile phones in Japan. The collection started on 1st April 2017 and went on till March 31st, 2019.

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Thousands of used devices came in from different parts of Japan so that they could be dismantled and then around 5000 gold, silver, and bronze medals were made with the e-waste.

“Every single medal to be awarded to athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Games is made from recycled metals. We are grateful for everyone’s cooperation on this project.

“We hope that our project of recycling small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally-friendly and sustainable society will form part of the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Tokyo Olympics 2020′ statement.

How much e-waste was used to create the medal for Tokyo Olympics 2021?

Over 6.21 million phones and 78,985 tons of small electronic gadgets were collected. With this much scrap, the medals to be used at Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2021 were made. The whole process has involved a lot of people in Japan.

The process of converting the e-waste to medals started with the collection. Once it was collected, these were organized by various people. Then each device or gadget was dismantled. These were then smelted, extracted, and refined to create different medals of gold, silver, and bronze.

“We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” the organizers said.

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People walk past a sign for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Once they got a disc of gold, silver, and bronze, then the design of the medal was engraved on the disc, and later it was polished to get the final product.

A similar process was used to acquire the medals for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Which country will emerge with the most of these recycled and eco-friendly medals?

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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