Recycled mobile phones as Olympic medals – lessons for entrepreneurs

Recycled mobile phones were used to make the medals awarded to the athletes at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

A unique and a very timely feat, the Japanese people were requested to bring their used mobile phones which were then recycled into gleaming new Olympics medals.

78,985 tonnes of recycled plastics including old mobile phones were used to make 5,000 medals that are being awarded at the Olympics held in Tokyo this year.

The recycled medals are only a part of the sustainability initiatives undertaken for the Tokyo Olympics.

Over 06 million old mobile phones were used to create the medals, along with many other plastic refuse. The project commenced 02 years ago and used a process called smelting to create the gold, silver and bronze medals which were extracted as base metals.

History will record this innovative venture as the first ever such a sustainable initiative deployed for Olympics – it is also the first time that such a public and a community based effort has been undertaken.

The Olympics as the world’s premier sporting event, has not always been recognized for the sustainability efforts generated.

However, the Tokyo Olympics is changing all that.

But what lessons are there in this unique effort for entrepreneurs?

There is more and more focus on sustainable efforts and recycling initiatives. What can entrepreneurs learn from them?

Look at recycling efforts with a unique focus –

Recycling can come from any material we use today. It may seem insignificant or not relevant but there are lots of everyday products that are being used that can easily be turned into a business venture.

You can always find inspiration in little things.

Watch out for products that can be easily recycled and ones that are not being recycled at the moment.

Study processes of recycling before you undertake a venture –

It is strategic to understand how the process of recycling works before undertaking such a venture.

Some processes are easy to manage while others may involve various processes.

Complicated processes may not always be commercially viable so you need to be able to understand that as well.

You must be able to understand what methodologies are involved and research those systems before commencing on a project.

Would the recycling process be commercially viable?

This is a critical question for you to ask yourself and understand.

Unless it is commercially viable, a recycling venture will not be a good business idea – although recycling always makes sense as a goodwill gesture for the wider community.

How would you access what needs to be recycled?

You must be able to understand how the supply and demand works in a sustainable venture.

Would you have constant access to such material on a long term basis?

Would you be able to manage the process once you start and the business grows?

There are some grey areas such as these that need to be addressed adequately before you plunge in.

Recycling ventures are always great ideas for entrepreneurs. But what we need to understand is that while such concepts are successfully being undertaken at the moment, there are still many ways that need to be perfected and developed as we go along.

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