Recycling plan for Olympic medals on track

10 Février, 2019, 20:26 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Great Britain men's foil fencer Richard Kruse

For a long time now there has been a lot of talk about e-waste and how to deal with the magnanimity of the problem.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics open in just over 500 days and all medals will be made from discarded smart phones, digital cameras, and other handheld games and laptops.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, about 30 per cent of the silver and bronze in medals came from recycled materials.

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The country was one of the first countries to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for e-waste, enforcing compulsory recycling targets with differing laws for certain products. On the organising committee's website, there's a detailed explanation of how they have gone about doing this.

In November 2018, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach contributed an old mobile phone to the Tokyo 2020 medal project. "The medals will be produced after the gold, silver and bronze elements have been extracted by the smelting contractors". Over a whopping 5 million discarded/unwanted devices produced metals worth over $3 million. The gold medal will be gold plated over a silver base, with 30.3 kilograms of gold, 4,100 kilograms of silver and 2,700 kilograms of copper required for production. In its most recent update, officials said that almost 100% of the needed metals have been collected. They hit the target for bronze last June, and by October had more than 90 percent of the gold and 85 percent of the silver. And it's announced that the project is on target to meet its collection and reuse goal by March 2019. Recycled metal has also been collected from local Japanese businesses and industry.

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