Japan has salvaged more than $1.6 million worth of gold from old phones for its Olympic medals
The Tokyo Summer Olympics is just a year away, and the country has recently unveiled its interesting way of making the medals.
Japan has always been a nation to do things differently, from the robots everywhere, to the wasabi flavoured Kit Kats to people being paid to shove other people onto the subway.
Now the country is also doing medals differently. The usual gold, silver and bronze medals are being made entirely from materials found in old mobile phones.
Between April 2017 and March 2019, the committee dedicated to creating the Olympic and Paralympic medals collected 78,985 tons of donate electronics from Japanese citizens. Within that literal mountain of abandoned tech was 6.2 million phones. These phones provided enough material to create the medals that will adorn the world's finest athletes.
70 pounds of gold, 7,716 pounds of silver and 4,850 pounds of bronze is what is hiding away inside a nation's supply of old phones. Calculating the price of gold isn't easy as it changes so much but the rough value of 70 pounds of gold is in excess of $1.6 million dollars. It's also almost $2 million worth of silver and around $5,000 worth of bronze.
Maybe you should think twice before throwing away your old phone, it's a gold mine!
"We hope that our project to recycle small consumer electronics and our efforts to contribute to an environmentally friendly and sustainable society will become a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games," the organisation's website reads.
There's almost 14 million people in Tokyo alone, it's not a bad haul then that 6.2 million phones were given in to the cause. The benevolent backstories do not end there though. The Olympic torch is partly going to be made of aluminium which was used to build temporary shelters after the Great East Japan Earthquake back in 2011.
By the time the Tokyo 2020 Olympics conclude next summer, organisers are expected to have spent $20 billion putting the event together this is hardly surprising though as the event has everyhing from a fleet of driverless cars to a man-made meteor shower during the opening ceremony.