210305 EcoBalance2021 “Urban-mined Olympic medals as a symbol of circular Economy”


Urban-mined Olympic medals as a symbol of circular Economy

The winner’s medals of 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic are made from recycled metals. JOC carried out the project named Tokyo 2020 project( “Minnano Medal project” in Japanese which means everybody participated medal), and 78,908 tons of used small electric appliances and 6,210,000 of used cell phones had been collected by citizens themselves with the support of 1621 local governments. All raw material of medals was supplied by this project. This is the first case in the history of Olympic. Small electric appliances recycling system, which launched from 2013, supported the base of this achievement.    In the presentation, three significances on sustainability are mentioned.  First, the sustainable resource management of circulation. The accumulated demand of metals until the end of this century will overshoot the amount of reserves with several times. Circulation based resource management is inevitable.   Second, reduction of the burden in resource mining. Great amount of total material requirements is on the rucksacks of small electric appliances and cell phones. Material circulation will reduce not only the raw material of products themselves but also the environmental resources behind them.  Third, mitigation of E-waste. Electric appliances such as cell phones contains various hazardous substances, as well as gold, silver and copper. The pollution of hazardous substance from electric appliances can be protected by appropriate recycling which has higher traceability such as Japanese recycling system of small electric appliances. Adding to the traceability, the importance of residue recycling is insisted in order to reduce the final waste.

Kohmei HALADA, National Institute for Material Science
Kenichi NAKJIMA, Re-Tem Corporation
Takeshi KURODA, ReNet Japan
Yoshiaki IMAI Rever holdings
Tadakazu KAGAMI, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation
Hirobumi OHTA, Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd.




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