I’ve been a bit slow to keep up with the Olympics this time round, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. However I’m now catching up and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Paralympics this week. As a result I accidentally stumbled across something that made me genuinely really happy – the medals have been made with sustainability in mind!
I was half listening to some commentary and heard them mention that the Paralympic medals have been specially designed to make a noise according to whether they are Gold, Silver or Bronze. I wasn’t sure if I heard correctly so I searched online and happened upon this article: https://www.rio2016.com/en/news/rio-2016-reveals-olympic-medals-celebrating-nature-and-sustainability
It turns out that…
“the silver and bronze medals have been produced using 30 per cent recycled materials. Half of the plastic in the ribbons which will be used to hang the medals around athletes’ necks comes from recycled plastic bottles. The rounded cases that hold the medals were made from freijó wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)”.
How wonderful! And even better, the gold used has been mined without the use of mercury which is a significant factor in making gold mining more environmentally friendly (to the landscape and the miners).
And in case you were wondering, the Paralympic medals do make a noise for the visually impaired athletes. And – to save you the time in searching online – they aren’t made from solid gold anymore (not since 1912). Olympic Gold medals must be at least 92.5% silver with a minimum of 6 grams of gold (so they’re basically gold plated sterling). And all Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick.
Well done Rio!