As production companies get more creative with materials in an effort to reduce and reuse waste, more thought is being put into how materials can be used. The New Raw has research labs which allow city denizens to craft recycled furniture, skateboards are being turned into kitchen knives, and now… we have portable speakers made from your old plastic bags.

The Gomi Speaker is completely unlike its store-bought counterparts. The body is made from 100% ‘non-recyclable’ plastics and the sound insulation material is made from recycled jean denim, with each speaker diverting 1kg of plastic waste from places they don’t need to be.

gomi speaker
gomi speaker
gomi speaker
gomi speaker

Approximately 100 plastic bags make up a single Gomi speaker, and it starts with the production team collecting various plastics littered throughout their city or floating in bodies of water. Once they have enough material to work with, they melt it down and compress the plastic into a malleable material. This material is poured into molds which give the speaker its final shape. The plastic is removed, cut, and fitted with electronics to turn it into a working speaker.

gomi speaker
gomi speaker

It’s completely hand-made, and the team worked closely with renowned sound engineers to ensure the recycled plastic material used for the Gomi wouldn’t impact the sound it emits. The end result is a custom-built Bluetooth speaker with a full-range driver, a single tweeter, and a playtime of roughly 18 hours.

They recycle the material used to make it, but what happens when this speaker breaks or is ready to be tossed? Well, the team has worked out a scheme which allows users to turn in their broken or malfunctioning Gomi speakers to have them repaired for free within the first two years of purchase. This coincides with their goal “to stop over 500kg of plastic entering landfill sites and the ocean”.

gomi speaker

Despite the two-year guarantee and the fact that no two speakers are the same (since the recycled plastics used in each speaker are entirely different, every speaker is unique), the Gomi Speaker wasn’t able to achieve its Kickstarter goal. It only managed to accumulate $18,578, rather than the $59,051 it needed to set the material reuse plan in motion.

It’s an interesting concept though and one that will hopefully serve as a idea for others to build on. You can find more info on the Gomi Speaker on its Kickstarter page, including prototype tests, sketches of the speaker and a portable charger to go along with it.

Author

Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.