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Tokyo 2020 appeals for 'heavy metal' from population

03 Feb 2017
Tokyo, Japan, February 1, 2017: Tokyo 2020 has invited the Japanese population to give to the organising committee their discarded or obsolete electronic devices in order to use the metal in the production of the medals that will be awarded to athletes at the Games. This project, announced on Wednesday, highlights Tokyo 2020's commitments to engage the whole Japanese nation and to offer to everyone the opportunity to play a role in the Games' preparations. 

It also responds directly to Recommendation 4 of Olympic Agenda 2020 that states sustainability be integrated into all aspects of the planning and execution of the Games. The organising committee aims to collect as much as eight tons of metal (gold: 40 kg, silver: 4920 kg, bronze: 2944 kg), which, after the production process, will result in two tons - an amount needed to produce 5,000 Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals.

Two partner companies were appointed at a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting earlier today, NTT DOCOMO and Japan Environmental Sanitation Center (JESC). From April, collection boxes will be installed in more than 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores and an undecided number of public offices throughout the country. The collection will end when the 8-ton target is reached.

Japan's three-time Olympic gold medallist gymnast Kohei Uchimura said: “Computers and smart phones have become useful tools. However, I think it is ‘mottainai’ [or wasteful] to discard devices every time there is a technological advance and new models appear.

“Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be made out of people's thoughts and appreciation for avoiding waste. I think there is an important message in this for future generations.”
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