Healthcare activities generates a lot of waste, especially from the frequently used consumables, which are harmful for in-patients and healthy population. Medical waste includes waste generated within research centers and health-care facilities for example, sharps waste, infectious waste, pathological waste, pharmaceutical waste, chemical waste, and radioactive waste. The waste product that are generated by the healthcare activities have higher potential to spread infection and injuries. Inadequate or incorrect handling of medical waste may cause serious public health issues such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and other bacterial diseases and also have irreversible impact on the environment. According to Journal of Hospital Infection, in 2013, around 20% of medical waste cause risks of trauma, infection, chemicals or radiation exposure. Effective medical waste management is crucial for environment and health protection. According to World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015, around 16 million syringes are administrated every year, among which only few are disposed properly, in turn creating risk of injuries and infection. Moreover, UNICEF and WHO collaborated in 2015, launched a global initiative to ensure that all healthcare facilities have proper and adequate water, hygiene, and sanitation services, which also include healthcare waste disposal management. Various strategies are adopted by national and international bodies on the development and implementation on education and training programs for medical staff and patients, emphasizing on proper medical waste management.
Medical Waste Management Market Taxonomy
- Collecting, transportation, and storage
- Chemical treatment
Proper medical waste management in developed and emerging economies is expected to fuel growth of the medical waste management market
Government initiatives to support medical waste management is encouraging effective medical waste management. For instance, the Union Ministry of Environment, in 2017, issued a guideline for developing bar codes in the hospitals and clinics in compliance with Bio-medical Waste Managements, rule 2016. This aims to monitor the source of generation of medical waste and its proper disposal, which in turn is expected to control the hazardous effects caused by medical waste. This initiative by the government is expected to propel growth of the medical waste management market in the near future. Training given to the hospital staff to separate and dispose waste properly is critical for the success of such programs or initiatives. Developed regions such as North America and Europe are adopting proper medical waste management. For instance, many hospitals in U.S. have started recycling the single-use products, which are sold back to the hospitals at fraction of the original cost.
Strict rules imposed by government for proper disposal of medical waste is expected to augment medical waste management market growth in the near future
Incineration is the most commonly used method for disposing medical waste, however, it is not a safe procedure as it emits lots of gases, which are responsible for global warming. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have imposed strict rules regarding incineration due to increasing global warming. Strict rules imposed by government bodies for proper medical waste disposal such as recycling and emission, is increasing the demand for medical waste management. Various non-incineration techniques are used such as autoclave treatment, non-ionization treatment, and some chemical treatment. Government and non-government bodies are working by spreading awareness among masses for proper technique of disposing medical waste in non-hazardous state. The key market players operating in the global medical waste management market include Stericycle, Sharps Compliance, Inc., Veolia Environment, Daniels Sharpsmart, Clean Harbors, Inc., MedWaste Management, Republic Services, and Waste Management.