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Published on : Apr 18, 2016

The rapidly expanding global healthcare industry has brought significant development in the world’s healthcare infrastructure, improved services and better capabilities of treating a number of diseases. But all this development has come at the cost of the substantial rise in the amount of medical waste that is generated every year on a global front. The vast amount of medical waste that is presently available on a global front, as well as the additional volume that is being continuously added to it, has made medical waste management a critical issue for any society.

Medical waste is the waste that is generated from healthcare facilities such as clinics, laboratories, hospitals, physician’s offices, medical research facilities, blood banks, and veterinary clinics and hospitals. The waste may include solids that are generated during immunization, treatment, or diagnosis of humans or animals, production or quality assessment tests undertaken for biologics, or any research activity. Thus, the span of medical waste does not only include discarded surgical instruments, culture dishes, or blood soaked bandages, as is the normal conception.

Medical waste can be typically segmented into four categories: infectious waste, general waste, radioactive waste, and hazardous waste. Similar to the waste generated in any household or an office setting, about 80% of the medical waste generated every year is made up of plastics, papers, and other materials. The remaining 20-25% is made up of bioactive waste such as blood-soaked bandages, cultures, expired medicines, used syringes, and other substances that are hazardous to the heath of humans and other living beings as well as the environment.

From a geographic standpoint, North America features the most sophisticated medical waste management programs and facilities and is the leader in the global medical waste management market. Europe follows North America with a lesser share in the market but equally competitive scenario for the medical waste management market. Favorable regulatory scenario, which mandates the proper disposal of medical wastes, in these regions is the dominant driver for the medical waste management market.