Japan is preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in the most eco-friendly way and the whole country can participate. They are making the medals for the games from the recycled mobile phones.
This new project will likely to reduce cost and increase sustainability. The country is set to produce 5000 bronze, silver and gold medals that will be handed out at the games by collecting around eight tons of metal.
The discarded consumer electronics like smartphones and tablets have small amounts of precious and rare earth metals, including platinum, palladium, gold, silver, lithium, cobalt and nickel. The e-waste is then chemically processed to separate the various metals. The e-waste around the world is mostly taken to developing countries in Asia like China, India, and Indonesia, Pakistan, etc. where they are broken down to extract the metals.
Japan’s Olympic Committee will start the collection from April 2017. They will place collection boxes in local offices, and telecoms stores, which will stay there till the required metal has been collected.
Not just mobile phones, the Japanese public will also be asked to donate small appliances to gather the gold, silver, and bronze for the 5,000 medals. Japan lacks in mineral resources, and through this idea, it is aiming to take the theme of creating a sustainable future, to the next level.