TOKYO (Reuters) – Medalists at next year’s Summer Olympics will stand on podiums made from recycled plastic waste collected from local households or the ocean, Tokyo 2020 organizers said on Tuesday.
From June 13, collection boxes will be set up at more than 2,000 outlets of local supermarket chain AEON for residents to deposit any unwanted plastic items for the podiums project, organizers said.
They are looking to collect as much as 45 tonnes of plastic to make the approximately 100 podiums needed for next summer’s showpiece, they said. It would be the first time Olympic podiums were made from recycled material.
Organizers have sought to frame the Games as environmentally friendly and a mechanism to bring about sustainable change in Japan, which, along with the United States, did not sign on to the G7’s ocean plastics charter in 2018.
The medals for the Games are being forged from recycled metal collected from old mobile phones and other electronic devices, while the uniforms to be worn by runners in the torch relay will be partially made from recycled plastic bottles.
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Peter Rutherford)