In partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced that for the first time in Olympic Games history, all medals podiums will be created entirely from recycled materials—and consumers can directly contribute.
The Tokyo 2020 Podium Project officially kicked off on June 13 in host-country Japan, where members of the community were invited to drop off their single-use plastic items, like shampoo and dish detergent bottles, and bring them to the nearest AEON Group store location, a major Japanese retail chain, for donation.
Collection boxes for discarded plastic will be provided in more than 2,000 AEON Group locations across the country, including AEON, AEON Style and MaxValu. The retailer will then forward the plastics to P&G, which will leverage donated plastic waste recovered from the ocean to contribute to the creation of the podiums.
“Sustainability is at the heart of this effort, and P&G is proud to work with Tokyo 2020 and the IOC to demonstrate how consumers can participate in reducing plastic waste,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G chief brand officer, in a statement. “The Tokyo 2020 Podium Project is an example of how the Olympics can be a catalyst to inspire actions that have a positive impact on the environment and society.”
The Podium Project also highlights Tokyo 2020’s commitment to engage the entire Japanese nation in the buildup to the Olympic Games and offers everyone an opportunity to play a role in the preparation. It will also contribute to the achievement of key U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, including “Responsible Consumption and Production,” “Underwater Life” and “Partnerships for the Goals.”
The new recycled circular economy solutions were introduced as part of a partnership with Loop, a circular e-commerce platform developed by a third-party international recycling leader. Each podium will include post-consumer recycled goods that have been collected in Japan and transformed into a new product that helps eliminate waste and promotes sustainable solutions. Highlights of the Podium Project include:
- The overall goal is to collect 1.5 million pieces of plastic packaging consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene plastic from consumers to reduce recycled plastic resin.
- Through this, 75 grams of carbon dioxide will be saved for each piece of plastic recycled.
- Once the goal of 1.5 million pieces is reached, Tokyo 2020 and P&G will have saved enough carbon dioxide to light a person’s home for 112 years.
Through this project, P&G and Tokyo 2020 will create all podiums to be used by all medaling athletes during the Olympic Games beginning July 24, 2020, and Paralympic Games beginning on August 25, 2020. Together with Tokyo 2020, P&G is planning to unveil the podiums in June 2020. Once the Olympics conclude, P&G’s intent is to recycle the podiums to create new P&G packaging. They also will be used as educational material to explain and promote the Olympic and Paralympic movements and overall importance of sustainability.