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Tokyo’s Olympic medals could be made from smartphones

Asia – In order to make medals for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, organisers are considering mining Japan’€™s vast stocks of e-scrap for millions of discarded smartphones and computers.

A proposal to recycle used electronics into gold, silver and bronze medals has been discussed at a meeting of Olympics officials and government/industry representatives.

The meeting was organised by non-profit organisation Genki Net for Creating a Sustainable Society, which put forward figures to show that the country’s e-waste contains enough precious metals to create all the medals required for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is claimed that Japan retrieved 143 kg of gold, 1566 kg of silver and 1112 tonnes of copper from its discarded electronics in 2014.

By comparison, organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games in London used 9.6 kg of gold, 1210 kg of silver and 700 kg of copper to produce all of its medals.

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