With the Rio 2016 games just finished, it might seem like the Olympics are not going to be something to get excited about at least in the next 2-3 years.
And yet, Japan looks set to follow in the footsteps of Rio in promoting sustainability at Tokyo 2020.
Your smartphone may be your most reliable assistant, but it is also extremely resource-intensive to manufacture. It is estimated that more than 40 elements that are mined with uncertain environmental and social impacts are necessary for producing your faithful pocket gadget. Therefore, it is inspiring to see that Japan is working on manufacturing the Olympic medals from the precious materials found in smartphones.
This is a great way to reduce waste and give a new, glorious life to Japan's old handsets - what is there not to like?
The idea is simple: rather than asking mining corporations to donate precious metal for the Tokyo Olympics, organizers think they can source enough gold, silver and copper from Japan's "urban mine."