Olympic medals made from recycled metals

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games collected more than 32kg of gold, 3,500kg of silver and 2,200kg of bronze during its Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, which was designed to recycle precious metals from electronic devices and turn them into medals for the athletes.

The collection of small electronic devices for the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project closed on Sunday 31 March 2019. The medal design was announced in the summer of 2019.

The metals were from small electronic devices such as used mobile phones, and were collected from all over Japan to produce the medals.

In the two years between April 2017 and March 2019, 100 percent of the metals required to manufacture the approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals were extracted from small electronic devices contributed by people from all over the country. Every single medal to be awarded to athletes during the Tokyo 2020 Games is made from recycled metals. The organising committee said it is grateful for everyone’s cooperation on this project.

“We hope that our project of recycling small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally-friendly and sustainable society will form part of the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” a spokesperson said.

Those figures include more than six million recycled mobile phones from 1,621 municipalities throughout the country. Those precious metals were taken from approximately 79,000 tonnes of electronic waste.