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Japan Recycled Old Cell Phones And Other Electronics To Make The 2020 Olympic Medals

This is so cool!

Japan didn’t waste any time getting the medals made for the Toyko 2020 Olympics, and the country did it in a unique way.

The gold, silver and bronze medals that will be handed to winning athletes are made from tens of thousands of tons of recycled electronics. It’s the ultimate upcycle!

Tokyo 2020 Medal Project leaders said it used 78,985 tons of recycled electronics to create the medals, and that includes 6.31 million recycled cell phones. People from all over Japan have been contributing electronics to the project for two years.

Collection of the recyclable electronics ended in March 2019, when the project organizers finally had as much as they needed. Metal from all of those devices will make 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals.

The front of the medals, shown above, read “Tokyo 2020” and feature the five Olympic rings. Here’s the design for the back of the medals:

Tokyo 2020

“We are grateful for everyone’s cooperation to this project,” reads the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project website. “We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

Here’s a crazy-awesome statistic from this project: Of the 1,741 cities, towns and villages throughout Japan, 90 percent participated. It’s really kind of cool to think that someone’s cell phone, radio or another device has been turned into a medal hanging around an Olympian’s neck.

Adobe | DaiPhoto

Thank goodness for recycling programs, and the folks who think of these things. Otherwise, that stuff might be sitting in garbage dumps.

The Japanese got really involved in making these medals possible — the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project website shows lots of photos of people handing in electronics at collection sites, school festivals and other events.

The Olympics begin July 24, 2020, and take place through Aug. 9, 2020. There will be 55 sports in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan. It will be here before we know it, as highlighted in this official Tokyo 2020 committee tweet:

We’re excited about the upcoming summer games!