Medical waste management market to reach USD 29.64B by 2025 globally

The global market for medical waste management was valued at USD 14.82 billion in 2018. It is expected to grow at the CAGR of 5.4% from 2018-2025 and will reach USD 29.64 billion by 2025 because of rising stringent regulations for medical waste management and the growing health care industry.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Key Metrics
  • Market Risks
  • Top Market Opportunities
  • Market Trends
  • Industry Challenges
  • Technology Trends
  • Pricing Trends
  • Regulatory Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Distribution Chain Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Competitive Factors
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

Definition / Scope

Medical waste – waste generated by the healthcare institutions during the medical research, disease diagnosis and screening, immunization or treatment of human beings or animals.

It has been always a challenge to manage this waste as they are potentially infectious, pathological, radiative and genotoxic in nature. Medical waste management market is segmented on the basis of nature of waste, type of waste, waste generator type, and service type into the following ways:

Market Overview

The global market for medical waste management was valued at USD 14.827 billion in 2018 which is increased from USD 10 billion in 2015.

It is expected to grow at the CAGR of 5.4% from 2018-2025 because of rising stringent regulations for medical waste management and growing health care industry. It is expected to reach USD 29.64 billion by 2025.

Market Risks

  • High Capital Investment

The instalment of the methods for the management of medical waste is highly costly in nature. For instance, in order to build up the sealing for a cemented sharp pit, it costs almost USD 50/m3.

Along with this, the cost of the incinerator is almost USD 50,000 to USD 100,000 with the capacity to incinerate the waste of 50-500 kg/hour. It indicates that the initial cost for the establishment of medical waste management is quite high, which creates the risk for the growth of this market.

  • Lack of training for proper disposal

At present, the health workers aren’t well equipped with adequate training required for the proper management of healthcare waste. For instance, a study conducted among health workers has concluded that almost 46% of them ever had training about the disposal of healthcare waste. 

As they are unskilled, they are unable to segregate hazardous and non-hazardous waste. As a result, it creates pressure for the management of the waste and it might be the risk of its market.

  • Highly Fragmented Market

Medical waste management market is fragmented over various segments i.e.nature of waste, waste generator, type of service for waste management and type of the waste.

Over each segment, the market is further divided into the subtypes. For instance, on the basis of the type of waste, it is divided into sharps, infectious, pathological, radioactive, pharmaceutical and non-infectious waste. It might be the risk for the growth of this market.

Top Market Opportunities

  • Hazardous nature of medical waste

Almost 10-15% of medical waste is hazardous in nature. Exposure to this waste is associated to cause a variety of infections such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B & C, respiratory, gastroenteric infections, etc. and cuts.

For instance, in a hospital of US, housekeeper got infected with staphylococcal infection after being exposed to needle injury. So, its management is quite crucial for the prevention of the incidence of medical waste associated infections. This, in turn, provides the opportunity for the upliftment of its market value.

  • Growing Healthcare Industry

Healthcare industries include hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, telemedicine, medical tourism, and health insurance. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the fastest growing sector of employment is estimated as the healthcare industry and is expected to reach almost 26% by 2022 because of the aging population, chronic health conditions, and population growth. This growing healthcare industry is growing to generate an increased amount of medical waste. It will drive the growth of this market.

  • Availability of eco-friendly treatment procedures

At the present context, the most preferable method is the use of the sustainable and environment-friendly methodology for the management of medical waste. For example, autoclaving is one of the medical waste management methods which can be used for the treatment of 90% of medical waste and is totally environment-friendly. 

Besides this, recycling and composting of the biodegradable medical waste such as a cotton swab, food waste from the hospital are also available. It is a favorable opportunity for the development of the medical waste management market.

  • Outsourcing of medical management services

Health care institutions take the help of the outsourcing company to maintain a legally mandated level of services with optimum efficiency. For instance, Medi staff, an outsourcing company launched by Work service group. This outsourcing creates an opportunity for the waste management market too.

Market Trends

  • Stringent waste management regulations

International agreements and regulations are developed to manage the harmful health and environmental effects of medical waste. some of these regulations are The Basel Convention, the polluter pays principle, precautionary principle, the duty of care principle, etc. 

These regulations are strictly applied to medical waste producers and they are obliged to manage it. At present, it is driving the waste management market.

  • Rapid rise in Aging Population

Every country in the world is experiencing a rise in the proportion of the elderly population. The elderly population comprised 13% of the total population in 2017 and is growing at a rate of about 3% per year. 

This increasing number of the aged population will give rise to chronic health issues. Because of this, health care demand and health waste will issue, which in turn drive the opportunity for the development of the medical waste management market.

  • Large amount of Healthcare waste generated

Almost 5.9 million tons of medical waste are produced every year in America. In developed countries, about 0.5kg of hazardous waste is produced per bed per day and is about 0.2 kg per hospital bed per day in developing countries.

  • Importance of medical waste management

The rise in the number of hospitals is generating a huge amount of medical waste and the public are easily exposed to the waste. Because of this, they are at risk of developing various infections such as Hepatitis B. These events are creating the attention of government and regulatory agencies towards the management of waste as the crucial component of healthcare.

  • Lack of awareness about the proper method of waste segregation among healthcare workers

A study conducted among health care workers has shown that only 17.3% of them had a moderate level of knowledge of the waste types and color coding containers and the responsibility of the healthcare waste segregation while only 5% had high knowledge on it. This level of unawareness might restrain the growth of its market.

  • Insufficient skilled professionals for proposal disposal

In order to manage medical waste properly, the involved individuals and health worker must be skilful enough. Unfortunately, in the present context, all the health workers aren’t well competent for the management of this waste.

For instance, the World Health Organization has estimated that currently there is a shortage of about 7.2 million skilled health professionals in almost 100 countries having skilled health workers below the threshold level. This insufficiency of skilled health professionals creates the risk for the growth of the medical waste management market.

  • Insufficient funding to the health infrastructure

At the present context, only a few percentages of GDP is utilized for the health care expenditure. For instance, health spending accounts for almost 17.9% of GDP in the USA in 2017 and it is even low in developing countries such as Kenya with 4.55% of GDP. 

Here, allocated financial resources aren’t enough for the development of waste management infrastructure in all health institutions. As a result, it will influence the growth of the medical waste management market.

Industry Challenges

  • Improper segregation of the medical market

The market players might face the challenge in proper segregation of medical waste. Although, almost 15% of medical waste is hazardous in nature, at present segregation of waste is quite poor and the remaining 85% of waste also get hazardous, which create pressure on the waste management industries to manage it out.

  • Inadequate area for waste disposal

At the present context, because of urbanization and industrialization globally, it is quite challenging to allocate the separate land for the disposal of medical waste. In the coming future, the market players might face this challenge.

  • Onsite management of waste

It is quite difficult to manage medical waste within the periphery of the health institutions because of land constraints and other management issues. Because of this, treatment and disposal of medical waste at the site of production is challenging.

As a result, they have to prefer offsite management procedure, which will increase the cost of management for market players due to the transportation and labor cost.

Technology Trends

Rising production in the medical waste in creating a huge amount of pressure on public and environmental health. Because of this, proper medical waste management is quite crucial. At present, various technological innovations are arising for it:

  • Advanced Autoclaving: It is the waste management technique which combines the steam treatment with vacuuming, internal mixing, internal shredding, drying, and compaction.
  • Microwave treatment: In this technology, the waste is treated by the introduction of moist heat and stream by microwave energy.
  • Plasma gasification: It is a technology based on the plasma gasifier which is an oxygen reactor operated at a very high temperature. As a result, waste is broken down into the hydrogen, carbon monoxide, water, etc.
  • Vermicomposting: It is the technique used to degrade the organic matter in healthcare waste such as placenta, food waste, etc.
  • Alkaline digestion: It is a type of chemical process that uses alkali to digest tissues, pathological waste, animal carcasses in heated stainless steel tanks.

Pricing Trends

The production cost of medical waste management plant varies according to the disposal and treatment methods being adopted for it. For instance, the annual cost of the treatment of waste through the use of Incineration is USD 2,500 while it costs only USD 1,400 while composting the waste. 

It might be due to the variation in the type of waste and capital investment. Use of the whole encapsulation system cost ranges from USD 1,500 to USD 15,000.

Regulatory Trends

The international regulations developed for the management of medical waste market are as follows:

Market Size and Forecast

Globally, the total size of the medical waste management market was valued at USD 14.82 in 2018. It is expected to grow at the CAGR of 5.4% from 2018-2025 and projected to reach USD 29.64 billion by 2025.

As the regional variation is concerned, North America holds the largest market for medical waste management with 33% of the global market share because of the large number of health-related institutions, research and technological advancement in the region.

However, this market is growing at the highest rate i.e. CAGR 6.3% within 2018-2025 in Asian Pacific region because of the growing healthcare industry and growing government initiatives.

On the basis of the type of medical waste, the market size of hazardous waste is expected to grow at the highest CAGR i.e. 8% in comparison to the other type of waste.

Market Outlook

Globally, the market for the medical waste management market is expected to reach USD 29.64 billion by 2025 because of rising stringent regulations for medical waste management and growing health care industry. 

By region, the market size of Medical waste management in North America will reach to the highest level i.e. USD 12 billion by 2025 because of the large number of health-related institutions, research and technological advancement in the region.

Distribution Chain Analysis

The key stakeholders involved in the organization of the medical waste management market are the waste producer i.e. hospitals, health post, research organizations, laboratories, etc; waste transporters, waste treatment plant and individuals engaged in waste disposal.

Competitive Landscape

In terms of the waste generators, the large quantity wase generator is projected to dominate the global medical waste market because of the increasing number of hospitals, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies. Over the type of waste, infectious and pathological waste is expected to grow at a rapid rate by the year 2025.

Geographically, North America is dominating its market because of the highest awareness of public health safety, highly developed healthcare sector, rising prevalence of infectious & chronic diseases, and stringent laws for medical waste management while the Asia Pacific is estimated to show the highest growth because of the increasing social awareness and development of stringent regulations for the proper disposal of waste and its residues. 

On the basis of the disposal site, offsite outsourcing is dominating the market but onsite treatment and disposal is expected to rise in order to minimize the cost and time wasted during the transportation.

Competitive Factors

At the present context, the market players engaged in the medical waste management market are competing to develop environmentally sustainable waste treatment and disposal methods.

Along with this, they are focused on the introduction of energy efficient and cost effective methodology for the proper management of the waste.

Key Market Players

Key market players involved in medical waste management market are as follows:

Strategic Conclusion

Growing healthcare industry and medical waste management regulations are blooming the favorable environment for the growth of the medical waste management market.

However, high capital investment and inadequate proficiency in the proper management of health care waste might create the risk for its development.




  • GDP= Gross Domestic Product
  • US = United States

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