- The bed frames at the Athletes Village of the Tokyo Olympics will be made of cardboard that is stronger than wood, according to organizers.
- Both the frames and the mattresses, which are not made of cardboard, will be recycled into paper and plastic products after the games.
- Tokyo 2020 organizers said they tried to think of ways to make items renewable amid growing scrutiny of the sustainability of the Olympic games.
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The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have taken steps to reduce the footprint left by the games.
According to Stephen Wade of the Associated Press, the bed frames in the Athletes Village will be made of cardboard. The material is “stronger than wood” and can hold up to 440 lb, according to Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes Village, who spoke through an interpreter.
The frames are not indestructible, but Kitajima noted that frames made of wood or cardboard would break if, for instance, a celebrating athlete jumped on them.
The mattresses will not be made of cardboard. The cardboard frames will be recycled into paper products and the mattresses will be recycled into plastic products after the games. It is the first time beds in the Athletes Village will be made of renewable parts, organizers said, according to Wade.
“The organizing committee was thinking about recyclable items, and the bed was one of the ideas,” Kitajima said.
The Associated Press has photos of the beds and the rooms, which, per usual, are minimalistic.
The Athletes Village consists of 21 towers and 18,000 beds, with more construction to come, according to Wade. After the games, the units will be sold and rented.
The Olympics have increasingly come under fire for their lack of sustainability. The Olympic Stadium for the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018, for instance, cost $100 million to make and was torn down after the games.
There have also been issues with housing in some recent Olympic games. Rooms at Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 were unfinished as athletes and media began reporting to the sites.
Cardboard beds don’t immediately sound appealing, but Tokyo 2020 at least sounds more prepared than some previous games.