Going for Gold

Leorah Rotchin, Editor

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At the upcoming 2020 Olympic games there is something new that not many people are aware of at the moment.  On July 24, 2019, Japan, the host of the Olympic and Paralympic games, came up with a way of keeping their promise of delivering the most innovating and organized Olympic games yet.  Instead of making the medals with the materials they used to, they are making them out of precious metals from extracted and discarded electronics.  


Reusing electronics is not a new idea.  It came up a while ago from a young group of Japan environmentalist’. This idea was a way for them to raise awareness of the amount of electronic waste that is generated by all the technology users in their country.  The amount of electronic or home devices that the Japanese toss every year is about 650,000. Out of those 650,000, only 100,00 of those are recycled. Now you may be asking how they are getting enough material to make all the medals for the upcoming games.  In 2017 the Olympic committee launched the “Everyone’s Medal” program. This encouraged the citizens to drop off their gadgets whether they were broken or if they weren’t used. They had 2,400 different locations throughout Japan. This included stores and the Environmental Sanitation center.  


The organization needed millions of gadgets to be donated so they could reach the 8 tons of material they would need to make all their medals. In total, they need to make 5,000 medals for the Olympic and Paralympic games. By the end of their gadget gathering organization, they ended up with a total of 78,895 tons of different medals.  They have more than enough to make this years medals. Japan citizens really pushed the limits to help save the Earth.