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Showing posts for September 2016

29 September 2016

Going for Electronic Gold in Tokyo

This summer’s Olympic Games certainly had its moments. On the track Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah stormed to gold; Brazil finally completed a clean sweep of international football tournaments with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Germany; and Britain dominated in the velodrome, relegating the Australians to the life in slow lane. 

Admittedly, the Rio Games might not have lived up to the wonderful showpiece that was London 2012 and many people are predicting that they’ll be overshadowed by Tokyo in four years’ time.

We can’t predict whether Tokyo will be a success on a par with London, or Barcelona in 1992, but for those in the electronics industry they are already shaping up to be a very interesting event.

Home to companies such as Renesas, Sony and Fujitsu, Japan has long been at the forefront of the technology, component and semiconductor sectors so it’s no surprise that electronics looks to be a focal point of the games.

According to reports in the Japanese press, organisers are looking into the possibility of fashioning Olympic medals from e-waste.

The proposal is yet to be approved, but if it is, it would mean those athletes that finish on the podium could be taking home highly valuable tokens made from old mobile phones and tablets.

The idea isn’t as strange as it first sounds. If you take a closer look at the components that comprise your gadgets you’ll find quantities of gold, silver and bronze.

Japan apparently generates around 600,000 tonnes of e-waste from small electronics and domestic appliances each year. However, it is believed that only 90,000 tonnes actually end up being collected by the relevant agencies.

The plan is to push ahead and increase aware in recycling electronics and Yuko Sakita, who is working on the proposal, hopes that companies will get on board with the scheme.

“We are asking companies to propose a concrete collection proposal,” Sakita said, adding that he’d ideally like it to work hand-in-hand with schemes organised by the Olympics’ organising committee.

With e-waste and its associated problems becoming an ever-growing problem for the global electronics industry, this initiative is certainly welcomed.

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