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Recyclable cardboard beds unveiled for athletes at Olympic, Paralympic village

Olympic village general manager Takashi Kitajima, left, and airweave inc. head Motokuni Takaoka are seen demonstrating the cardboard beds set for use in the Athletes' Village during the 2020 Games, on Sept, 24, 2019. (Mainichi/Ryo Yanagisawa)

TOKYO -- Competitors staying at the Athletes' Village during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be sleeping on bedframes made of cardboard, the games' organizing committee announced at a press conference on Sept. 24.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games revealed the bedding and reusable bed structures to be used at the tournament accommodation, in the capital's Chuo Ward, saying the idea was to emphasize the events as ones that use sustainable materials.

The cardboard beds have been developed by airweave inc., a Tokyo-based company which produces and sells bed-based products including high resilience foam mattresses. Because of the frames' material, they are easy to put together and transport. They are also implemented with heat-resistant and water-repellent features. Around 18,000 of the beds will be provided for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The mattresses split at three points, for the shoulders, waist and legs, so they can be rearranged by athletes to make a shape most appropriate for their body types. As they are 100% polyethylene, they can be reused too.

Takashi Kitajima, the general manager for the village, said, "We're realizing the concept of these games as one that contributes to sustainability. We want the athletes to get a good night's sleep so they can give fantastic performances."

(Japanese original by Ryo Yanagisawa, Olympics/Paralympics Promotion Office)

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