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Medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be made from old electronic devices.
The event’s organizing committee, which plans to adopt an eco-friendly theme, is targeting to gather eight tons of gold, silver, and bronze metals from waste cans all over the country as early as April. The public can contribute to the cause by donating their discarded gadgets in offices and stores of NTT Docomo – one of the country’s major telecommunications company and an Olympics sponsor.
Metals will be taken from parts of the devices, which will be shredded, separated, and heated. According to the organizers, the gold medals will be made entirely from recycled materials in order to preserve the environment’s finite resources.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is not the first Olympics that will make use of recycled materials for medal production. In the Rio 2016 Olympics, 30% of the medals’ composition came from recycled materials, which included leftover car parts, mirrors, and x-ray plates. In addition, the ribbons were partly produced from recycled plastic bottles.
Despite efforts to protect the environment through initiatives such as recycling, the Olympics still poses a threat on the environment. For instance, planes, which transport the event participants, are expected to emit a significant amount of Carbon dioxide (CO2).
In the Rio 2016 Olympics, an estimated 3.6 million tons of CO2 were released in the environment. Apart from CO2 emission, waste production and energy consumption are other possible negative impacts of the Olympics.