Medal winners at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be given their prizes on podiums made from recycled plastic waste collected from local households or the ocean.
Event organisers have confirmed that collection boxes will be placed at more than 2,000 outlets of supermarket chain AEON, where residents will be able to drop off unwanted plastics to contribute to the project.
Once collected, the plastic will be sent to Proctor and Gamble, a partner of Tokyo 2020, to be recycled into podiums, which are due to be unveiled in June next year.
The initiative, which marks the first time Olympic podiums have been made from recycled materials, will require as much as 45 tonnes of plastic in order to make around 100 podiums for the Games.
"By sending that message to both Japan and the rest of the world, we think this project will have great significance," Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters.
The move ties in with Tokyo 2020’s commitment to associate an eco-friendly message with its hosting of the multi-sport event, including making all medals from recycled electronic waste.
Collection for that project started in 2017, with old smartphones and laptops set to be used to implement the scheme. Organisers are aiming to collect 30.3kg of gold, 4,100 kg of silver and 2,700kg of bronze.