Japan will host the Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2020. To make this event more memorable, Japan has promised to use the most innovative ideas for organizing these games. The games in Japan will start on July 24th, 2020, and the Olympic Committee at Tokyo has revealed the medals for the winners will be created from precious recycled metals extracted from various recycled electronic items.
The young Japanese environmentalists originally proposed the idea of stripping out the smaller quantities of platinum, silver, gold, and nickel from rejected and old devices in the year 2016. Those students were interested in raising awareness about the vast amount of electronic waste created by the tech-loving residents in the country who keep on replacing their electronic gadgets time and again. Stats reveal that Japanese citizens create almost 650,000 tons of waste from small home appliances and electronic gadgets per year, out of which only 100,000 tons are sent to the recycling plants.
The Olympic committee took the initiative to save the environment as well as to raise awareness on this issue. They launched their new program “Everyone’s Medal” in February 2017 to encourage Japanese residents to deposit all the unused electronics at 2400 stores of NTT Docomo, a mobile phone operator company in Japan. Several other locations by the Environmental Sanitation Center had been created, to ease the process for the local citizens.
Each electronic item contains minute traces of precious metals; hence, the organizers need millions of devices to extract the required 8 tons of material that is needed for crafting 5000 Olympic and Paralympic medals. However, the great news is that from the launch date of this program, the Japanese residents have donated vast amounts of electronic gadgets. The estimates reveal 78,895 tons deposition with only 6.21 million smartphones. The donations allowed the committee to extract 4850 pounds of bronze, 7716 pounds of silver, and 70 pounds of gold; this quantity is enough to prepare 5000 medals.
The committee revealed that each one of these medals will have a diameter of 85 mm. Each medal will have five interlocking rings symbolizing Olympic, the official name of these games, and the symbol of the Greek goddess of Victory with a background view of the Panathenaic stadium.
All these gold medals will be prepared by using pure silver material with the gold plating of around 6 grams. As per the regulation, the silver content in the silver medals is required to be at least 92.5%; however, the great news is that this recycling effort promised to craft silver medals containing 100% pure silver material. Furthermore, the bronze medal will have red brass alloy, including 5% zinc and 95% copper. The case to keep these medals will be designed using Japanese ash wood.