Tokyo Olympic medals to be made out of old cellphones

The thousands of medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympics medals will be 100 percent made out of recycled cell phones

This is the goal the Tokyo Olympic committee, who has partnered up with telecommunications company NTT Docomo and the Japan Environmental Sanitation Centre for a collection drive, according to the Japan Times.

The committee estimates they would need eight tons of cellphones – that will be further reduced to two tons of material – to make the 5000 medals needed for the Games. 

"Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medals will be made out of people's thoughts and appreciation for avoiding waste," confirmed three-time Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Kohei Uchimura. 

"I think there is an important message in this for future generations."

Collection boxes will be set up at 2400 NTT Docomo stores throughout Japan in the hope of collecting the millions of cell phones needed. With over 13 million people in Tokyo alone, the committee is positive they will reach their goal. 

"We are asking people to recycle voluntarily," said Hidemasa Nakamura, the chief financial officer of the 2020 Games.

"The concept is recycling and sustainability, which is in line with the ideals of the Olympic Movement. It is also about participation."

Estimates indicate there are more cellphones than people on our planet – somewhere over the seven billion mark – so this effort from the committee should be applauded.

This is not the first time recycled Olympic medals have featured in the Games. In 2010, the Vancouver Winter Olympics had medals made out of recycled circuit boards.