Tokyo 2020 collects metals for medals

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has begun its project of using recycled metals to create the gold, silver and bronze medals. The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has commenced the nationwide collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices, whose metals will be used to produce medals for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The project aims to engage the whole Japanese nation and will offer everyone the opportunity to play a role in the Games’ preparations, while drawing public attention to the importance of sustainability. More than 2,400 NTT DOCOMO (a mobile communications service) stores and 350 local government offices in every prefecture of Japan will act as collection centres for discarded electronic devices, which include smartphones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops.

Donors will receive special cards with a machine-readable QR code that will enable them to follow the creation process of the Games’ medals from recovery of the metal through to design and production.

The Organising Committee aims to collect as much as eight tons of raw metal – around 40kg of gold, 4,900 kg of silver and 2,900 kg of bronze – which following the production process will yield around two tons of pure metal, enough to produce 5,000 medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The collection initiative will end in spring 2019, or as soon as the eight-ton collection target is reached.

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