Medallists at next year’s Tokyo Olympics will stand on podiums made from recycled plastic waste recovered from the ocean and plastic collected from local households.
Announced by Tokyo 2020 organisers, 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.
Organisers are hoping to collect as much as 45 tonnes of plastic to make the approximately 100 podiums needed for next summer’s showpiece.
Japanese supermarket chain, AEON, will then forward the plastics to P&G, who will also leverage donated plastic waste recovered from the ocean to contribute to the creation of the podiums.
“Sustainability is at the heart of this effort and P&G is proud to work with Tokyo 2020 and the IOC to demonstrate how consumers can participate in reducing plastic waste,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G chief brand officer.
Once 1.5 million pieces have been collected, Tokyo 2020 and P&G will have saved enough carbon dioxide to light one home for 112 years
“The Tokyo 2020 Podium Project is an example of how The Olympics can be a catalyst to inspire actions that have a positive impact on the environment and society.”
The goal is to collect 1.5 million pieces of plastic packaging consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene plastic from consumers to reduce recycled plastic resin.
Through this, 75 grams of carbon dioxide will be saved for each piece of plastic recycled, organisers say.
Once 1.5 million pieces have been collected, Tokyo 2020 and P&G will have saved enough carbon dioxide to light one home for 112 years, it says.
Once the games are over P&G’s will recycle the podiums into product packaging.
The project will be the largest multi-category collection and material recycling programme for post-consumption packaging in Japan ever, the organisers said.
The medals for the Games are also 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.