Turning E-waste into Olympic medals

In the 2020 Olympics, the world’s best athletes and players will embellished with recycled e-waste at the winner’s podium.

The Tokyo game organising committee had launched a sustainable project, in 2017. The project was to collect various forms of electronic waste from the public. The metals from those waste products will converted into Olympic medals.

In this project, the organising committee will make all the medals for the Olympics and Paralympics from old smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. By November last year, the committee had already collected 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices, from which 8 tonnes of gold, silver and bronze will extracted to make 5000 medals. Organisers had set a target of 2700 kg of bronze,30.3 kg of gold and 4100 kg of silver. They hit the target for bronze last June, and by October had more than 90 per cent of the gold and 85 per cent of the silver.

This is not the first time recycled metals are being used to make medals in Olympics. Even in Rio around 30 percent of the silver and bronze in medals came from recycled materials.

The designs for the Tokyo 2020 medals will be announcing later this year.

Written by Prerna Singh

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