Japan wasn’t kidding when it said that it aimed to organize the greenest Olympics of all time. Even the slogan “Be better, together —For the planet and the people” made sure to convey that message. The Tokyo 2020 organizers ensured that they would use sustainable materials as much as possible; from stadiums to accommodation and even the medals given as rewards during the games.
The process of making this an environmentally-friendly event started as early as 2017, when Japan urged people to donate their old electronics and mobile devices so they could be recycled into making the medals. Not only did the Japanese officials stay true to their promise but many Japanese citizens came forward to help in this eco-friendly cause and donated around 5 million cell phones along with 47,000 tons of other technical gadgets’ waste. These materials were then recycled and the organizers were able to collect about 70 pounds of gold, 7,700 pounds of silver, and 4,850 pounds of bronze to make the 5000 plus medals for the Olympics.
This is one of the examples of the sustainable materials being used in this world-class event. The podiums for the games are also made from recycled plastic and the beds for the athletes are also built from cardboard (don’t worry, they can hold up to 400 pounds of weight and are not easily breakable) which would be recycled after the event along with the mattresses. The organizers hoped that this would create a strong impact for others to follow and “contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society.”
Japan has once again outdone itself in creating an environmentally-friendly event on such a large scale. While there were some negative remarks about their initial execution plans, most people were quite impressed with the end results and hoped this would be an example that many other countries would follow in the future games.