What's in a Tokyo 2020 medal? Old phones, discarded cameras

What's in a Tokyo 2020 medal? Old phones, discarded cameras

What's in a Tokyo 2020 medal? Old phones, discarded cameras

Medals for the 2020 Olympics will be made from recycled electronic devices, the Tokyo Organising Committee has announced.

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

A Tokyo recycling program thought it would be only natural to mine the precious metals needed to create the 2020 Olympic awards from old electronics, including smartphones (via The Verge).

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Thanks to "huge levels of support", the committee said in a statement on Friday that they expected to reach the quotas by the end of March.

Organisers had set a target of 2,700 kgs (about 5,950 pounds) of bronze, 30.3 kgs (67 pounds) of gold and 4,100 kg (about 9,040 pounds) of silver.

The committee said the designs for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be introduced in summer 2019. As of the end of October, the project had collected 93.7 percent of the gold and 85.4 percent of the silver required. The committee also revealed that "since the project was launched in April, athletes, students from partner universities and members of the public have been cooperating with the project by collecting used small electronic devices".

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By November 2018, a grand total of 47,488 tonnes of discarded devices had already been donated to Tokyo's municipal authorities, with an additional five million phones handed over by customers of a major local wireless service provider.

Just 30% of gold and silver medals were made out of recycled material at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, according to BBC.

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