The whole world will gather on Friday July 24th, 2020 to witness the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and this time the goal is to spread a message of environmental sustainability to the world.

Since 2017, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games collected small electronic devices from all over Japan to produce the Olympic Medals, and in March 2019 the project was finished. All gold, silver and bronze medals are made out A total of 78,985 tons of metals from recycled and used cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, and cameras!

What makes the project special is the public interest and assistance from Japan’s citizens who powered the creation of the roughly 5000 medals for the Games. In total, around 70 pounds of gold, more than 7,000 pounds of silver and almost 5,000 pounds of bronze were gathered from hundreds of local sources.

Local municipal authorities gathered more than 6 million mobile phones from stores across Japan, and more than 78,000 tons of other small electronic devices. These electronic devices were classified, dismantled and then smelted, where the gold, silver and bronze are extracted to create the medals.

The Committee also looks to establish a theme of resourcefulness for the games and contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society by using recycled household and marine plastic to create podiums for the medal ceremonies. Moreover, the metal that isn’t used in the medals will be used for medals in local competitions in the future.

Are you reading this article from your smartphone? You never know, your own gadget might just be part of a Gold medal in future Olympic games near you!

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