Tokyo Olympics 2020 Podiums Crafted From Donated Plastics Printed by Asao Tokolo
As a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Sustainability Plan, the organizers announced to involve initiatives to use waste materials for different purposes at the event.
Winners at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics shall be awarded on podiums made from discarded plastic waste from households. These sustainable podiums are designed by Japanese artist Asao Tokolo.
Last year, the organizers announced that they received 24.5 tonnes of used plastics and 400,000 laundry detergent bottles to create recyclable podiums for the Games. The initiative was launched in June 2019 as the Recycled Plastic Victory Ceremony Podium Project.
Japanese citizens were asked to donate used household plastics in nearly 2,000 collection boxes installed in many departmental stores and around 113 schools. The campaign reached its goal in March 2020 over the course of nine months, the same month that the international games were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The recycled plastics were converted into filaments which were used to 3D print all 98 podiums for the Games. The podium is made from a number of cube modules that are connected together to form platforms for traditional three pedestals.
The checkboard patterns were 3D printed with the help of a team formed by Hiroyo Tanaka, founder of Japan-based first Fab Lab. The team was able to arrange the cubes strategically with the help of additive manufacturing. These pedestals can be flattened to create a platform for the Paralympics. The socially distanced version is currently being designed, considering Japan’s declaration.
This initiative is a part of a wider sustainability plan as the Olympics Games was pressured into becoming carbon neutral by climate experts. Other initiatives include developing Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals from old electronic devices that are donated by the citizens.
The podiums are created with a purpose to prove that sustainable society can be realized with the Japanese population engaging in the podium production process for the first time in the Olympics history.
The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee plans to reuse or recycle at least 65% of the waste generated from the operations and nearly 99% of the products bought for the Games. The podiums will be recycled into bottles for shampoos and detergent by Protector and Gamble, a consumer goods company, which is an Olympic sponsor.