Inevery four years, the host Country of the Olympic Games revels in the Global spotlight for sixteen days. While few Countries are able to create a lasting imprint once the games are over. Japan has a unique plan to change this: at the 2020 summer Olympic in Tokyo; winning medalist will quite literally own a piece of Japanese trash. During 2020 TokyoOlympic, medals to the best Athletes of the World will be conferred with the medals made from E-Waste at the victory podium.Japan has pledged to recover upto eight(08) tons of metals from obsolete smartphones and other electronic gadgets ,which will be converted into five thousands(5000) Gold, Silver and Bronze medals ahead of the games according to a press release on the Olympic websites.
The initiatives, known as the “Tokyo Medal Project “is in a part of response to global”E-Waste” crisis. This project falls directly in the line with the Tokyo-2020 slogan” Be better, together-for the Planet and the People “This is not the first time, electronic waste has been used to create the Olympic medals but it is the first time citizens got a chance to be directly involved. Although only a tenth of the population, Japan is second to China when it comes to generating E-Waste, according to UN University’s Regional E-Waste monitor. In 2011 alone 36.39 million mobile phones were made in Japan and only 7.62 million units or 20.9% were collected under mobile recycling networks, a network of 9000 retails outlets that collect mobile parts. It is a problem across Asia, with the volume of E-Waste increasing by 63% in the five years ending in 2015. Asia is also the largest manufacturer and the market of EEE (Electrical and Electronic Equipment), not intended for reused. This amount to 12.3 million tons in 2015, a weight akin to 2.4 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Globally, the unit of E-Waste was projected to grow 49.8 million tons by the end of 2018 with annual growth rate of 4 to 5%. China alone increased its waste to 6.7 milliontons upto 10% from 2010 to 2015. Meanwhile Hong Kong (21.7 kg) and Singapore (19.95 kg), had the highest average E-waste generation per capita in the region in 2015.
This venture of Japan is an eye-opening to all the countries where the miseries of e-waste exist and can follow the foot print of Japan to convert e-waste to wealth. At the same time this activity will remove the burden of e-waste problem in our environment. Government of Manipur may also eye this venture for a clean & healthy environment for a prosperous state.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.
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