Japan recycled nearly 80,000 tons of cell phones and other electronics to make the medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
- The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals are entirely made from the metals extracted from almost 80,000 tons of old electronics, including more than 6 million cellphones.
- The Tokyo 2020 organizers collected old electronics in a two-year span, and extracted enough metals for approximately 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic gold, silver, and bronze medals.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo don't start for another year, but Japan hasn't wasted any time in getting the medals ready.
Tokyo 2020 is making the the gold, silver, and bronze medals entirely from 78,985 tons of recycled electronics, including 6.21 million recycled cellphones, according to the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project.It turns out that gadgets contain everything that's needed to make the medals. Tokyo 2020 didn't say if the ribbons were also made from the old electronics, but perhaps the recycled plastic could make for good ribbon material?
I wouldn't start tearing apart electronics to extract their precious metals, however. Of the nearly 80,000 tons of recycled gadgets, only 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver, and 2,200 kilograms of bronze (copper and zinc in this case) were extracted, according to Tokyo 2020.