Tokyo 2020 launches campaign to use discarded plastics to manufacture podium
Tokyo 2020, the organising committee for next year’s Olympic Games in the Japanese capital, has launched what it described as a “major new sustainability initiative,” aimed at using plastic waste contributed by members of the public, and plastics recovered from the oceans, in the manufacture of the award ceremony podium.
From 13 June, collection boxes for discarded plastic will be provided in more than 2,000 retail outlets of AEON, the Japanese retail chain, which will then forward the plastics to Procter & Gamble, the global consumer goods company and top-tier Olympic Games TOP sponsor, which was today appointed as a Tokyo 2020 partner company.
Tokyo 2020 said: “Procter & Gamble has advanced recycle technology and has been a long-term partner of the Olympic movement. The company will then manufacture podiums with the plastic and plastic waste collected from the ocean. Tokyo 2020 aims to collect as much as 45 tons of plastic. The collection will end when sufficient plastic has been collected to manufacture the podium.
“This project highlights Tokyo 2020’s commitment to engage the whole Japanese nation in the build-up to the games and to offer everyone an opportunity to play a role in their preparation. It will also contribute to the achievement of key UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, ‘Underwater Life’ and ‘Partnerships for the Goals’.”
However, the organising committee has come under fire from a group of seven environmental non-government organisations, including the Rainforest Action Network, which have accused it of failing to end the use of timber associated with rainforest destruction and human rights abuses.
The group said in a statement in February that it was “deeply disappointed” by a revised Tokyo 2020 timber sourcing policy announced on 18 January, saying that it “makes minimal improvements and fails to ensure the sustainability or even legality of the timber being procured.”
The statement continued: “By allowing Tokyo 2020 suppliers to continue sourcing high-risk timber from controversial companies, without meaningful due diligence, the Olympics will be leaving a bitter legacy for Japan.”