Japan, one of the world's most gadget-obsessed nations, has 16 percent of the world's gold and 22 percent of the planet's silver currently sitting inside its consumer electronics.
The idea of using metals from recycled electronics was first discussed at a June meeting in Tokyo. Those who attended the meeting included government leaders, event organizers and tech companies in Tokyo. In the meeting, Games organizers asked Japanese firms to pitch ideas for recycling schemes to help encourage citizens to donate.
Takeshi Kuroda, president of ReNet Japan Group that purchases and sells used home appliances said
By raising public awareness, the amount of electronic waste that is collected and recycled could be increased. Recycling is already widespread in Japan for many products, including milk cartons and plastic bottle caps. We need a system that makes it easy for consumers to turn in used consumer electronics.
About 650,000 tons of electronic waste is generated every year in Japan. The country has laws to ensure proper collection and recycling is applied in the case of electronic waste. However, only about 100,000 tons of the purported 650,000 tons actually gets collected and recycled. Japanese environment ministry has called on various prefectures to target collecting 1 kg of electronic waste per person per year, but many have fallen short of collecting even 100 grams per person.
Waste materials were also used at the recently concluded games in Rio De Janeiro with more than 30 percent of the silver which was used in both the silver and gold medals extracted from leftover mirrors and X-ray plates.