Tokyo Olympics going for gold in sustainability

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are well underway, and will go down in history for being the first:

  1. gender balanced Olympics, with a record number of female competitors at the Paralympics.
  2. Olympic Games to be postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled. The first time Tokyo was ever meant to host the Olympic Games was in 1940. However, with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan forfeited their hosting.
  3. Olympic Games to host baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.

But there could be another first: the most sustainable Olympic Games so far. Let’s o take a look at some of the incredible first-of-a-kind sustainable initiatives that have been introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!


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A phenomenal 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals are set to be awarded in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. In a historic first, this Olympic Games will be awarding athletes with medals made 100% from metals that have been extracted from small electronic devices contributed by people from all over Japan.


Olympic Athletes have been taking to social media to share a unique new feature at the Olympic Village – fully sustainable cardboard beds. Japanese mattress company Airweave created 18,000 sustainable beds and mattresses. The headboard and bed frames are made from recycled cardboard, and the mattresses are made from polyethylene fibres that can be recycled an unlimited number of times.

Here’s a look at Kelsey Robinson, and the American Olympic Volleyball team testing out the beds:


Reply to @adriana.kms cardboard beds… let’s talk about it. @jtomm19 @michellehackley #fypシ #volleyball #olympics #tokyo2020 #teamusa

♬ original sound – Kelsey Robinson


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The winners at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will be crowned on the first-ever podiums made from 24.5 tonnes of recycled plastics, thanks to TerraCycle brand partner P&G. The podiums are made from a combination of household and ocean plastic that has been collected by consumers in over 2,000 collection boxes stationed in Japanese retailer, AEON.

For those looking to keep fit while remaining sustainable, you can always recycle your old sports equipment through TerraCycle’s Sporting Goods – Zero Waste Box™ – this includes anything from yoga mats and blocks, balls, skateboards, fishing nets and rods or rackets.

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Additionally, any surfers in Australia can recycle their old wetsuits for free through The Rip Curl Wetsuit Recycling Program. Aussie surfers can visit any participating Rip Curl store to take back any of their old wetsuits to be recycled through us, or if you’re in a state that doesn’t have a store, you can ship them in!

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