The governor, who took office after winning a landslide victory in the July 31 Tokyo gubernatorial election, received the flag from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the closing ceremony at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 21. But all those small amounts add up, and Japan is looking to use those metals to make the most iconic medals in sport.
Abe pledged in Rio that he will work hard to host the best Games yet but Tokyo s Olympic preparations have suffered high-profile setbacks including soaring costs and having to redesign the Games logo after accusations of plagiarism.
Hopefully, when Usain Bolt makes his comeback in 2020, he’ll be able to turn to his gold medal on the podium and say, “Siri, how many medals have I won now?”
The London Olympic Games in 2012 used 9.6 kg of gold, 1,210 kg of silver and 700 kg of copper to make their medals.
According to Nikkei, the gold and silver in Japan’s e-waste amounts to 16 percent and 22 percent of the world’s supply, respectively, making the high-tech waste ideal for creating Olympic medals.
Moreover, Japan’s recycled precious metals are also being reused to create new electronic devices, silver being the most in demand. In 2013, Japan’s almost 128 million strong population unloaded 17.3 kilograms of electronic waste per person, and about 556,000 tons of e-waste were collected and treated in Japan.
This recycled metal medals scheme is not without its challenges, though, as the nation hasn’t fully implemented a collection system for consumer e-waste, even with the passage of a 2013 law calling for the recycling of all small home appliances.
Proposals are being considered regarding how to increase public awareness of recycling programs and how to streamline the collection process in time for the Games’ arrival in Tokyo.