Tokyo 2020 Olympics to Make Medals From Discarded Phones, Cameras

Great Britain men's foil fencer Richard Kruse

The collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices, including smartphones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops, was launched in April 2017.

The last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics was in 1964.

The recycled metal has been collected from the Japanese public as well as businesses and industry.

There was "huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and global athletes", said the committee.

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It managed to extract the 2,700kg of copper (used to make bronze) required for its medal haul by June 2018, and had reached 93.7 per cent of its 30.3kg gold and 85.4 per cent of its 4,100kg silver goals by October past year.

Around 47,488 tons of old devices had been collected by October past year, with more than 5m mobile phones handed over. After collecting more than 48,000 tons of e-waste, the target for bronze has been met, while the country has 85.4 percent of the silver and 93.7 percent of the gold necessary.

It is estimated that the remaining amounts of metals required to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals can be extracted from the devices already donated. The IOC requires gold medals to contain at least six grams of gold and 92.5 percent silver, and gold medals at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics were worth about $570 each.

The finalized designs for Tokyo 2020 medals will be released later this year. "The elite athletes are being looked after by a different set of professional people so that there is no bureaucracy", Rathore, an olympic silver-medallist in double-trap shooting, said.

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