Tokyo 2020 Begins Collection of Recycled Materials for Paralympic Medals

Paralympic swimmer Takyuro Yamuda helps launch the 2020 medals project (Photo: Tokyo 2020)

An ambitious plan has begun for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, as the organizers began their collection of materials for recycled metals to make the medals for the Games on Sunday.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee announced that the medals for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made of recycled materials. That means that the committee will be collecting discarded and obsolete electronic devices and harvest the metals from within those to create the medals that athletes will receive.

By collecting medals the hope of the Organizing Committee is that they will get the whole country involved in the Paralympic Games. It will also bring attention to sustainability which has been a big focus of the organizers.

The collection will utilize several different outlets for locals to be able to drop off their used electronic devices so that they can be used. NTTT DOCOMO (a mobile phone provider) stores along with 350 local government offices will serve as the collection places for these devices which can include smartphones, digitals cameras, handheld gaming systems and laptops. Anyone who donates to the cause will receive a code that will allow them to follow their device being used in the medal creation process.

Organizers are hoping is that they will get as much as eight tons of metals, mostly silver, looking to get 40kg of gold, 4,900 kg of silver and 2,900kg of bronze. With all those materials the organizers estimate they can make 5000 medals for Tokyo 2020.

Collection will continue to 2019 or once the collection has achieved eight tons, whichever comes first. This will be the first time that Paralympic medals are made out of recycled metal as Tokyo aims to be the most green Paralympics of all time.

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