Sustainability a key issue at Tokyo Olympics 2020

With Covid around, this year’s summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, looked rather different with less spectators and a much simpler opening ceremony.

This year’s games also took sustainability into account with many wonderful innovations to reuse and recycle as well as cut emissions resulting in a smaller carbon footprint!  Various recycled materials were used to manufacture the torches, furniture, upgrades of the stadia and the medals.  Only LED lights, electric cars and hydropower are being used at the various venues.

The surface of the hockey pitch installed at the Oi Hockey Stadium, the ‘Poligras Tokyo GT”, developed by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), in collaboration with Polytan Asia Pacific and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), is the world’s first synthetic hockey pitch to feature filaments made from over 60 per cent renewable raw materials, specifically sugar cane. The shock pad underneath the surface, uses fully recycled rubber and a binder that has been produced with carbon dioxide. This surface also offers cooling technologies which keep surface temperatures 10 to 20 per cent lower than other pitches, increasing player comfort and reducing the need for irrigation.

Sustainable and recycled plastics were an integral part of the Tokyo Olympics Sustainability Goals.
Plastic Clothing?

The white T-shirts and trousers worn by torchbearers carrying the Olympic flame at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay were made from recycled plastic bottles collected by the Coca-Cola soft-drink brand.

 In South Africa, PET is spun into fibre filling for pillows, duvets and quilts, clothing, jackets and even polar fleeces. rPET is used in boot linings and carpets; roof insulation and in industrial applications such as strapping, geotextiles for buildings, dams, power stations and tunnels.

What’s different about the podiums?

Citizens of Tokyo took great pride in a project to collect used plastic and plastic marine debris, which were then recycled to produce the Olympic podium.The 98 podiums being used at the Tokyo 2020 games were 3D printed out of 1.5m pieces of recycled plastic packaging, weighing 24.5 tonnes.  It will be the first of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history, and it presents a new model for a sustainable society.

The Sustainability Concept of the Tokyo 2020 Games

The aim is to ensure that the positive impacts of the Tokyo 2020 Games will extend far beyond the parameters of Tokyo, the host city, to encompass the whole of Japan and the world.

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