Does your significant other snore so loud that you can’t fall asleep and find yourself thinking unsavory thoughts as to how to stop the horrible racket? Oh, that’s just me…OK.

Well, just humor me then. 

Earplugs have been a savior on those nights where my hubby is especially loud in bed (and not the fun kind of loud!)

I have always just stolen a few foam earplugs from my husband’s stash he has for work. I use them a few times, throw them in the garbage and grab a new pair. I got to thinking the other night (Oh, no!) that there may just be more environmentally friendly earplugs than the disposable ones I was using.

Thank-you google, for the valuable information I learned and am about to share.

Are earplugs biodegradable?

Most earplugs, like the ones I was using, are made from polyurethane foam and are not biodegradable.

Are earplugs bad for the environment?

YES! Because foam earplugs are so light, they pollute the waterways the same as plastic straws. So not only are they not biodegradable, they are an environmental nightmare. 

 Sustainable earplugs

There is a pretty cool pair of reusable earplugs on the market (if earplugs can be cool) made from recycled plastic.

happy ears recycled earplugs

Happy Ears “Recycled”

  • Made of bioplastics and recycled plastics
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Comfortable fit in ears
  • Extremely durable
  • Lasts up to 12 months with daily use
  • Easy to clean
  • Recyclable at end of life

Biodegradable earplugs

If you’re looking for plastic-free earplugs, I have found some. These beeswax earplugs are all-natural and biodegradable.

kahlm ear dough earplugs

Kahlm ear dough ear plugs

  • Made from beeswax, lanolin, and cotton
  • Scented with natural essential oils
  • Completely biodegradable

One caveat with these earplugs is that they are pretty hard to find. Honestly, I’m not even sure that they make them anymore. They were literally the only biodegradable earplug I could find.

Wow, this article didn’t really amount to much. I fully expected to find more information on environmentally friendly earplugs. 

Most websites that listed ‘eco-friendly’ earplugs featured ones made from silicone. While these are better then the single-use foam earplugs, silicone earplugs are going to end up in the landfill at the end of their life as well, and I was trying to avoid that in the first place.

In my opinion, the only environmentally friendly earplug is the Happy Ears “Recycled”. They are reusable and are recycled at the end of their life so they hopefully will not end up in a landfill.

If you don’t like the idea of plastic in your ear, I’m sorry I don’t have better news. To he honest, I’m not too fond of that idea either. I guess I will just suffer through hubby’s snorefest sans earplugs.

Do you use earplugs? If so, what type? Are there eco-friendly earplugs I don’t know about? Let me know in the comments below.

Cheers, and have an awesome day!


  1. Kate

    I just came across some on Amazon: Quies Wax Ear Plugs

    • Kathy

      Thank-you! I will check those out.

    • cory

      unfortunately the quies wax eraplugs are not a beeswax.

      • Skinty

        I have just found Blox beeswax earplugs on Amazon France. Not sure if available in your country.

    • Kathy

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. zoey

    Does anyone know how to dispose of the soft molding silicone ear plugs? I can’t find any info on it, just on the foam ones.

    • Kathy

      Unfortunately, silicone requires a specialized recycling program. Some manufactures offer a mail-back program where you can send your used silicone products back to them for proper recycling. If this program does not exist for your earplugs, they may have to thrown out. Unless you can find a fun upcycle project for them! Earplug art, anyone?

    • Ilisidi

      Terra Cycle offers a program, but it looks like it’s not designed for individua as you have to purchase the service, $100+, then fill the box they send you, then ship it back to them. Every company that requires workers to wear earplugs should have these boxes on site, but that doesn’t help those of us who just want a good night sleep.

  3. Rebecca

    Hi! As a regular swimmer with fussy sinuses, I use silicone earplugs, and so I have a lot of old boxes lying around. I have been looking for ways to recycle them, and I can’t even find the specialized recycling programs (those are for FOAM earplugs only, apparently). I have used them to hold candles up in candle holders and to stop windows from rattling, etc. So that used up about 4 of my stock . . . Really hoping we find a solution!

    • Ilisidi

      See comment I posted above.

  4. Jason Call

    This article must’ve been written before Final Fit Safety biodegradable earplugs came out. They’re the world’s first USDA certified bio-based, biodegradable earplugs. Polyurethane earplugs are officially obsolete.

    • sofu

      Was just going to comment this! Has anyone tried them out yet – awesome that these have been developed


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *