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TOKYO (CBS) – The Organizing Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is taking the environment into consideration while producing the Olympic medals. The 2020 Medal Project is manufacturing medals for the Olympic Games from recycled consumer electronics – for example, used mobile phones.
The project has been collecting electronics from residents across Japan since April 2017 and it will continue to collect them until March 31, 2019.
“We will target a 100 percent recycling rate in the refining of gold, respecting the environment by using scrap metals in the manufacture of medals, and employing Japanese technological expertise,” said the committee in a press release.
While recycled metals have been used to create Olympic Medals in the past, Tokyo 2020 is the first in history to involve citizens in the collection of consumer electronics to manufacture them.
The electronic devices collected will be classified and dismantled by contractors authorized by the government’s Act on Promotion of Recycling of Small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
According to an update posted on the committee’s website, the medals will be produced once the gold, silver and bronze elements are extracted by smelting contractors.
The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project will produce approximately 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.