Tokyo 2020 Medal Project To Reach its Recycling Goals

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced today that the nationwide collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices—aimed at supplying recycled precious metals for the manufacture of athletes’ medals—is expected to reach its goals and will end on 31 March 2019. Thanks to the huge levels of support from the public and companies across Japan and from national and international athletes, 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 collection of discarded and obsolete electronic devices—including smartphones, digital cameras, handheld games and laptops—was launched nationwide in April 2017. As of November 2018, about 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores and a total of 1,594 municipal authorities across Japan were acting as collection centres for discarded devices. Approximately 47,488 tons of discarded devices had been collected by municipal authorities across Japan and over 5 million used mobile phones handed in at NTT DOCOMO stores as of October 2018.

The targeted amount of bronze – some 2,700kg – was already extracted from these 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.

The project has offered the public an opportunity to play an important role in the Games’ preparations, at the same time drawing attention to the importance of sustainability under the Tokyo 2020 slogan ‘Be better, together — for the planet and the people’. Their cooperation will help to promote sustainability in Japan, one of Tokyo 2020’s planned legacies.

The designs for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be unveiled in summer 2019.

Status of collected metals required for the medal production (from the project launch to October 2018)

Achievement rate Metals collected Target
Gold 93.7% 28.4kg 30.3kg
Silver 85.4% 3,500kg 4,100kg
Bronze 100% 2,700kg 2,700kg

The amount of metals collected (A) is the total of metals already secured and the estimated amount to be secured from small electronic devices collected by October 2018.
The target amount for bronze was reached with the metals collected by June 2018.

Project Progress Updates