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Making gold from garbage: Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to contain recycled waste

Making gold from garbage: Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to contain recycled waste
The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have said that all the medals for the Summer Games will be manufactured from recycled metals extracted from used phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

The Tokyo Organising Committee said Friday that the goal of collecting over 30kg of gold has been almost completed, with the necessary amount of precious metals expected to be gathered by the end of March.

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The project, which was launched in April 2017, was aimed at engaging the public in preparation for the Summer Games and “respecting the environment by using scrap metals in the manufacture of medals.”

The project entails precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze being salvaged from discarded mobile phones and other small electronic devices, and recycled for the production of medals to be awarded to athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Games,” the organizers said.

Smartphones, cameras, laptops and other small electronic devices which reached the end of their lifetime were donated by enthusiastic Japanese residents across the country, helping to amass enough of the metal required to produce the medals for the Games.

The idea proposed by the Japanese Olympic Committee was based on the knowledge that e-waste contains gold and other precious metals which could be recovered and refined for medals production.

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The organizers announced that the target for bronze was hit last June, while 90 percent of the gold and 85 percent of the silver was already collected in October.

The Organising Committee said that approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals are expected to be made from e-waste, adding that metal collection will be closed on March 31.

The design of the medals is expected to be unveiled later this year.

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