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  • 08.23.16

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals could be made from recycled smartphones

Might the world’s top athletes be competing for a rose gold medal at the 2020 games? Not exactly, but the organizers of the 2020 Olympics are hoping to tap into Japan’s electronic waste of discarded smartphones and other electronics to source the gold, silver, and bronze used to make the Games’ medals, reports Nikkei Asian Review. Though there is not a lot of gold or silver used in smartphones and other electronics, the sheer amount of the discarded devices means those small amounts of precious metals add up. Nikkei says for the 2012 Olympics, 9.6kg of gold, 1,210kg of silver, and 700kg of copper (the main component for bronze medals) were used to make the medals. In 2014 Japan recovered 143kg of gold, 1,566kg of silver, and 1,112 tons of copper from discarded electronics.

[Image: TechStage]MG