Tokyo has three more years to gather all the old phones it can and turn them into medals. The organizing committee is calling for the whole of Japan to help in its effort to make the 2020 Olympics as "green" as possible.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organizing committees are teaming up with a telecommunication company and a public sector organization to come up with 8 tons of metal from old phones. The metal will be used to make the gold, silver and bronze medals that will be rewarded to winning athletes during the Olympic Games.
NTT DoCoMo and the Japan Environmental Sanitation Center along with the Tokyo Olympic committee have started a drive to collect the needed materials for the 5,000 medals needed for the much-anticipated worldwide sporting event. Hidemasa Nakamura, the chief financial officer of the Tokyo Games, stressed that the drive will be voluntary and nowhere like the metal collection drive that the country went through during the war.
CNET noted that this is not the first time that a host country used recycled materials to make the medals as the same was accomplished for the 2010 Vancouver Games. It is, however, the most ambitious by far. With the projected cost of hosting the Olympics set at around $16.8 billion, the project will definitely help in defraying at least a portion of that figure. Of course, the effect of the drive on the environment is tantamount to the success of the games itself. For the Japanese people, it will be an opportunity to be one as a nation.
Japan Times reported that NTT DoCoMo will open its doors to anyone willing to part with their old phones and help the cause. Each of the over 2,400 branches of NTT DoCoMo, as well as some government buildings, will have a collection box for the discarded smartphones. The distribution of the collection boxes will commence in April.