Tokyo unveils its 2020 Olympic medals made entirely from recycled electronics

Tokyo unveils its 2020 Olympic medals made entirely from recycled electronics

In April 2017 the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee launched a campaign to collect old electronics from the public for the project. The metals for the medals were then harvested from those donated electronics. Many electronics, especially cell phones, contain small amounts of precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum.

Earlier this year the Olympic Committee announced they were on track to complete the project as planned. All told, it collected over 47,488 tons of discarded devices, and over 5 million used cell phones. Ultimately it was able to extract 32kg (70.5 pounds) of gold, 3,500kg (7,716 pounds) of silver, and 2,200kg (4,850 pounds) of bronze from the devices it collected.
 
The targeted amount of bronze — some 2,700kg — was already extracted from the donations by June of last year. By October 2018, 28.4kg of gold (93.7% of the targeted 30.3kg) and 3,500kg of silver (85.4% of the targeted 4,100kg) had been sourced from the donated devices.
 
Previous Olympic medals have used recycled materials in their contraction, but Tokyo claims that 2020 will be the first Olympics where the gold medals will be made using entirely recovered metal.