The Tokyo Olympics games committee launched Medal Project in April 2017 and it is the first of its kind to involve the public as well as the businesses and industry. The project is a step ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics effort to make 30% of the Silver and Bronze medals from recycled materials.
Organising committee officials are upbeat on the progress of the project and expect to collect enough obsolete electronic devices by the end of March 31, 2019. “Thanks to the enthusiastic response from many citizens and corporations since the Medal Project commenced in April 2017, we have been able to secure the amount of metals required to produce the medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games, and we have therefore closed the collection of small electronic devices at the end of Sunday, 31 March 2019. We wish to sincerely thank all those who have contributed to this project and express our appreciation for your continued support,” said the organizers in a statement.
The committee said that municipal authorities across Japan have collected approximately 47,488 tonnes of e-waste. Of these, approximately 5.07 million used mobile phones were collected by NTT DOCOMO from shops across the country.
The target amount for Bronze medals was reached with the metals collected by June 2018. For Gold and Silver medals, 93.7 percent of the 30.3kg and 85.4 percent of the 4,100kg target had been extracted till October 2018. The authorities are confident of reaching the 100% goal for Gold and Silver medals by the coming March end.
Once the collection of electronic devices is complete, the e-waste will be classified and dismantled. The medals will be produced after the gold, silver and bronze elements have been extracted by the smelting contractors. Some 5,000 medals will be manufactured for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Sports enthusiasts can expect to see the final medal designs for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics by this summer.