Tokyo 2020: Medal milestone

First recycled metal for Olympic and Paralympic medals arrives

a group of athletes putting their old smartphones into a collection box Athletes donating their old electrical devices to the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project © • Tokyo 2020

The first consignments of gold, silver and bronze have been delivered to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project reached a new milestone.

It was the first delivery since the commencement of the project, which offers the public an opportunity to play a role in the Games' preparations, while at the same time drawing attention to the importance of sustainability.

In April 2017, a nationwide collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices—including smartphones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops—was launched with the aim of using the precious metals they contain in the production of the medals that will be awarded to athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 has now received all the recycled metal extracted from electronic devices collected up to June 2018. With this delivery, the target for bronze (2,700kg) has been already met, while 16.5kg of gold (54.5% of the targeted amount) and 1,800kg of silver (43.9% of the target) have been recovered.

Organisers estimate they will be able to source the remaining targeted amounts from the devices likely to be donated between July 2018 and the end of March 2019. This is based on the success of the project so far and the fact that collection rates have been increasing every month.

As of September 2018, the number of facilities acting as collection centres had increased more than fourfold, with Marketing Partners and other organisations hosting more than 11,000 facilities and events and more than 1,500 municipal authorities taking part.

Many national and international athletes and members of the public across Japan have also been supporting the project by collecting and donating devices.