Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to be made from mobile phones
n a digital age, what could be more fitting than having the Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games made from recycled mobile phones?
Olympic host cities have traditionally obtained metal from mining firms. But, in a bid to be sustainable and to reduce costs, the Japanese public are being asked to donate old cell phones and small appliances to gather eight tonnes of gold, silver and bronze for an expected 5000 medals.
Tokyo Olympics organisers have called for device donations and have teamed up with telecommunications giant and Olympic sponsor NTT Docomo.
"We are asking people to recycle voluntarily," Tokyo Olympics chief financial officer, Hidemasa Nakamura, said. "The concept is recycling and sustainability, which is in line with the ideals of the Olympic Movement. It is also about participation."
Experts say the budget could be up to a staggering US$30 billion, four times the initial estimate and almost triple the cost of the 2012 London Olympics.
Recycling bins will be put out across Japan to collect unwanted mobiles and electronics in April.
Recycled metals have been used in previous years to make Olympic medals, including in Rio last year where the silver and bronze medals were comprised of 30 percent recycled materials.