A gold medal in Rio consisted of 1 pound of silver and 0.01 pounds of gold

Japan is planning to make their medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics out of used cell phones and other electronic devices.

The host country is hoping to make the Olympics medals out of the gold, silver and bronze found in the devices.

Japan has plenty of e-waste to recycle and fortunately, Olympics medals don’t require too much metal. A gold medal in Rio consisted of around 1 pound of silver and 0.01 pounds of gold.

Japan recovered 3452 pounds of silver in 2014 from used electronics. By recycling these products, the host country hopes to reduce waste and to keep toxic materials out of landfills as electronics aren’t biodegradable.

Nonprofit organisation GENKI Net for Creating a Sustainable Society held a meeting in June for government leaders, event organisers and tech companies in Tokyo, where a plan was discussed regarding creating eco-friendly Olympic medals.

Whilst the groups have decided to create medals out of used electronics, they now need to devise an efficient way to collect these old electronics in time for the games.



According to Nikkei, 650,000 tons of electronics are discarded every year but less than 100,000 tons are collected for recycling. The problem is increasing as the world’s reliance on technology grows.

Photographer Valentino Bellini said that there is a lack of awareness on the issue, “if people would be more conscious about where their electronic trash would finish and in which way they are affecting others, poorest peoples’ lives, I think they would act more carefully.”