Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have decided to use e-waste to manufacture the 5,000 medals that athletes will be awarded.

Official plans call for collecting as much as eight tons of metal (40 kg of gold, 4,920 kg of silver, and 2,944 kg of bronze). The Japanese public is being asked to donate used mobile phones and other consumer electronics. Bins are being placed in local offices and telecoms stores around the country for this purpose.

For the 2012 London Olympics, 9.6 kg of gold, 1,210 kg of silver and 700 kg of copper -- the primary component of bronze -- were used to produce medals. In comparison, the amount of precious metals recovered from discarded small consumer electronics in Japan in 2014 included 143 kg of gold, 1,566 kg of silver and 1,112 tons of copper.

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