Health care is traditionally regarded as an important determinant in promoting the general physical, mental, and social well-being of people all over the world, and when efficient, it can contribute significantly to a country's economy, development, and industrialization. Healthcare is a rapidly expanding industry, mainly due to the growing sophistication of medical treatments & products and the increasing penetration of healthcare services. However, this booming industry is also producing more waste than ever before, resulting in the increased need to treat and dispose of this waste. Medical waste is produced during healthcare or diagnostic activities in hospitals & clinics, diagnostic & research laboratories, blood banks, mortuaries & autopsy centers, and long-term care facilities. Healthcare/medical waste includes hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
The global geriatric population is on the rise due to increasing life expectancy. Improvements in the quality of care, rapid urbanization, and growing incomes have led to greater survival rates. According to the United Nations, in 2022, 771 million people were aged 65 years or over globally. This number is expected to increase from 771 million in 2022 to 994 million in 2030 and 1.6 billion in 2050.
The elderly population is more susceptible to various chronic diseases. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), around 80% of people over 65 have at least one chronic condition, while 68% have two or more. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), globally, the number of people with diabetes is expected to increase from 537 million in 2021 to 643 million in 2030 and 783 million in 2045. Diabetes patients are required to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly and inject themselves with insulin to treat the disease, which leads to the generation of medical waste, such as lancet needles or syringes, insulin pen needles, injection vials or cartridges, and full needle clippers, every day. Similarly, the prevalence of cancer is rising all over the world. According to GLOBOCAN, in 2020, 19.3 million people were diagnosed with cancer globally, which is expected to increase to 24.6 million by 2030.
According to World Health Organization data, 85% of the waste produced in the healthcare sector is nonhazardous and regular waste. The remaining 15% constitutes waste that could be radioactive, infectious, or chemical, proving hazardous to the environment. According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), biomedical waste generation in India increased from 559 tonnes per day in 2017 to 619 tonnes per day in 2019. Medical waste management helps reduce the spread of infectious medical equipment-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Proper waste management strategies can help prevent the illegal trade of used syringes, injection needles, and medical instruments.
Thus, the rising geriatric population and the consequent increase in chronic disease prevalence boost the demand for the diagnosis of these diseases for early detection, prevention, and treatment, generating medical waste and driving the demand for medical waste management services. The global medical waste management market is growing at a CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast period to reach $17.02 billion by 2030, according to the Meticulous Research® report.