Culture

Japan recycles old phones to make medals for 2020 Olympics

Gold, silver and bronze will be extracted from donated phones which will help make medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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The Japanese government has big plans for used phones.

Members of the public are being asked to donate their old or unwanted mobile phones. They'll be used to create the medals that will be awarded in the 2020 Olympic games.

No, that doesn't mean the medals will look like compacted Nokia 3310 handsets. Gold, silver and bronze will be extracted from the phones, and these extracted metals will be used in the finished medals, Reuters reports.

This isn't the first time old gadgets have been repurposed to create Olympic medals. The medals used in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were also made with metals that had been recovered from unwanted technology.

Japan will begin rolling out collection boxes for donations in April. You'll be able to find them in some government buildings and in shops run by major Japanese telecoms provider NTT DoCoMo.

The project has a clear environmental benefit, but it also aims to reduce the economic burden of hosting the Olympics. The games which are currently expected to cost around $16.8 billion.