In total, 24.5 tonnes of recycled plastic has been collected over the course of nine months to build the podiums for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics


Tokyo's New National Stadium will play host to the opening and closing ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games (Credit: Tokyo2020)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has announced that it’s successfully collected enough recycled plastic to create the podiums for all of the Olympic and Paralympic victory ceremonies.

This has seen the whole population of Japan engage in the podium production process for the games through its Recycled Plastic Victory Ceremony Podium Project.

Launched in June 2019, it saw citizens mobilised to donate used household plastics for recycling, with the cooperation of major retailers and 113 schools from across Japan, as well as the active participation of consumer goods business Procter and Gamble (P&G).

In total, the project collected 24.5 tonnes of used plastic – equivalent to around 400,000 bottles of laundry detergent weighing 900 grams each – in nine months, allowing the campaign to reach its collection goals by March 2020.


Recycled plastic podiums part of the Tokyo Olympics’ ‘be better, together’ concept

The move to develop victory ceremony podiums out of recycled plastic – the first time in the history of the Olympics and Paralympics this has happened – is one way of the games is championing sustainability, part of its “be better, together” concept.

This has seen the organising committee showcase examples of environmentally-friendly solutions both in Japan and abroad in order to work towards a more sustainable society.

One of the key areas its focussing on is resource management, with Tokyo 2020 setting a target to use recycled materials and to reuse or recycle 99% of all procured items.

tokyo olympics plastic podiums
The 2020 Olympic medals have been made from recycled electronic goods (Credit: Tokyo2020)

This project also contributes to its commitment to facilitate broader involvement of the public in sustainability.

One prime example of this commitment is the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, which saw small electronic devices such as used mobile phones collected from members of the public throughout Japan.

These were then recycled to make all Olympic and Paralympic gold, silver and bronze medals.

Alongside this, Tokyo 2020 aims to be a carbon-neutral games, with 100% of the electricity used in venues to come from renewable sources.