Only a year is left to go before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo takes place. Here’s something that you most likely didn’t know; the winning design for the gold, silver, and bronze medals has been chosen. But that doesn’t really sound like something interesting, right? Wait until you hear the catch; these medals will be created using the recycled consumer electronics that have been extracted during the last two years.
A panel was formed to pick a design from a total of 400 entries in a nationwide competition that was able to pique the interest of not only professional designers but also design students. The panel finally chose a design that was presented by Junichi Kawanishi, Director of the Japan Sign Design Association and the Osaka Design Society. The design that will be used on 5,000 of these medals symbolizes the energy and the athletes’ competitiveness.
Tokyo launched the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project two years ago as a part of making the 2020 summer Olympics the most environment-friendly and sustainable game up until now. The project was able to garner interest from 1,300 educational institutions along with 2,100 electronics retail stores in Japan. The country has also placed yellow donation boxes in post offices and at street corners all over the country along with a partnership that enables consumers to donate their old phones to this noble cause.
The Olympic committee has stated that more than 90% of Japan’s local authorities took part in the initiative, and a total of 78,985 ton of discarded devices was collected. It included a total of 6.21 million used mobile phones and digital cameras, handheld game consoles, and even laptops. All of these discarded devices were then classified and taken apart. They were then melted down for creating Olympic medals. The project was completed by the end of March with Japan managing to collect 2,700 kg of bronze, 4,100 kg of silver, and 30.3 kg of gold.
These medals are not the only way that Japan is trying to transform the 2020 summer Olympics into the most environmentally friendly games that the world has seen. The uniforms for the Olympic Torch Relay are also being created using recycled plastic bottles, whereas the victory ceremony podiums shall be crafted from recycled household and marine waste plastic.
Citizens of Japan contributed around 45 tons of plastic in order to develop the 100 podiums. Organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project are hoping to keep up this momentum and are urging business owners, authorities and the public in Japan to donate household appliances so that the metal can be used for helping the community and for creating medals for local sports in the country.