Japan is a country known and notorious for its electronics so it probably wouldn’t come as a shock if it has an overabundance of unused gadgets and trinkets. Most of those end up on the trash heap or, worse, collecting dust somewhere in some forgotten box or corner. The Japanese government and the organizers of the 2020 Olympics have a better idea. Why not give those unused electronic devices to them and they will turn one man’s junk into the ultimate treasure: an Olympic medal.
Yes, if you think about it, the medals that thousands of athletes will receive in the 2020 Olympics will be made from recycled metal sourced from discarded gadgets. Some might find that almost scandalous, given the prestige and honor attached to these medals, especially the gold ones. The campaign, however, has benefits, practical, economical, and, especially environmental.
But it’s also a rather interesting marketing campaign as well. The Tokyo 2020 committee is advertising it as a way for all of Japan to be part of the country’s historic event. More often than not, those devices have memories and stories attached to them. In a way, those stories get a new chapter that would have otherwise never been possible. As US Decathlete Asthon Eaton put it, “when an athlete at Tokyo wins a medal, the weight of it will not be from the gold, silver, or bronze; it will be the weight of a nation.”
The campaign aims to collect eight tons of metal, to be distributed among gold (40 kg), silver (4,920 kg), and bronze (2,944 kg). Starting April, collection boxes will be placed in more than 2,400 NTT DoCoMo stores as well as public offices all around Japan. The collection will stop once they’ve collected 8 tons of metal, which the organizers say is enough to produce 5,000 medals for both the Olympics and the Paralympics.
SOURCE: Tokyo 2020