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Medical Plastics Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Application (Medical Disposables, Medical Instruments, Prosthetics & Implants, Drugs Packaging, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 13, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102136



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The global medical plastics market size was valued at USD 29.93 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 54.29 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period.

Medical plastics are plastic products specifically designed for applications in the healthcare industry. They are chemical-, temperature-, and corrosion-resistant. This makes them easy for regular sterilization and enables efficient storage of other medical fluids. The majorly used polymers for medical applications are polypropylene and polycarbonate, which are used in applications such as MRI casings and surgical tools. Equipment made from ceramics, steel, or glass is now being replaced by plastics due to the durability and cost-effectiveness of the material. Plastics are used for making medical products such as inhalation masks, bedpans, IV tubes, surgical instruments, implants, pill casings, and others. These plastics are also used for surgical applications to prevent the spread of infection by simply disposing of them after a single use. These plastic medical devices are made with antimicrobial surfaces. These surfaces are highly effective at repelling and killing dangerous bacteria.

Medical Plastics Demand Expected to Boost Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain medical device segments is expected to be more pronounced. Demand for polymers has increased for medical applications that include PE, PP, and engineering plastics, among others. Production of medical disposables and medical equipment such as thermal scanners, ventilators, gloves, respirators, and masks has seen an incline due to the global pandemic. Additionally, growing awareness about proper hygiene is driving product consumption and supporting market growth.

Several countries globally have altered healthcare resources such as medical devices and PPE kits for the management of COVID-19 patients. Closed borders have disrupted the existing supply chains, causing critical stagnation of medical consumables. However, this has also created opportunities for domestic players to enter the market without any competition. Small-scale manufacturers are soaring and contributing to the local GDP growth.

The economics behind Medical Plastics Treatment

Along with a wide range of applications, medical plastics are also cost-effective and provide longevity of the stored material, making them a highly sought-after product. Glass and metal equipment are prone to shattering and corrosion, but plastic being resistant to both is an ideal material for medical operations. Many medical plastic devices are made for single-use and are designed to handle repeated sterilizations last longer. Most of the major plastics are recyclable, making them an environmentally sustainable option for medical applications. This makes it easier for health caregivers to meet the demand for medical products and instruments as these products can be easily manufactured with low-cost raw materials and remain environmentally friendly.


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Growing Awareness Regarding Personal Hygiene during Global Pandemic to Drive Market Growth

The growing consumer awareness regarding personal hygiene and high demand for home care products is expected to support the market growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies are manufacturing or developing new products to meet the surging demand for medical products such as masks, gloves, sanitizers, and PPE kits owing to the pandemic. To reduce the chances of the infection, maintenance of personal hygiene is expected to become a trend in the coming years. This, in turn, will aid the global market during the forecast period. To continue the fight against coronavirus, the healthcare sector has mandated hand hygiene and hygiene of frequently touched surfaces.


Rising Technological Advancement to Augment Product Demand

The medical plastics market has seen high growth in technological advancements such as device miniaturization, multi-purpose drug packaging, and point-of-care (POC) diagnostic instruments. This is one of the factors responsible for market growth. For example, custom blow forming is a technological solution created to produce thinner medicine bottles and to improve performance on the moisture transmission rate, and strengthen the twist caps. Additionally, Unique Device Identification (UDI) and other barcodes for device identification are constructed for easy biocompatibility testing. These technologies are leading to high consumption of plastic for medical applications thus supporting the market growth rate. Companies are working together to create products to meet the new product demands for medical applications within POC diagnostics, medical device miniaturization, and multi-purpose packaging. Technological advancement is helping elevate the efficacy of the treatment of patients, thus leading to global market growth.

Growing Competition among Industry Players and High Investment towards R&D is Propelling the Market

Growing competitiveness among the industry players is driving the market growth for medical plastics. Various factors such as cost competitiveness along with product quality to attract consumers are the major factors impacting the market growth. High production of these plastics to meet the consumers' demand will result in wider product availability, which is expected to increase buyer power within the coming years. Also, many key players are investing significantly in R&D for the development of innovative products such as 3D-printed medical devices. The outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe is fueling demand for medical equipment such as gloves, medical masks, ventilators, and testing equipment. This in turn is helping domestic and small-scale companies to develop products for meeting consumer demand.


Environmental Pollution and Medical Waste Management to Limit Market Growth

The human population is increasing consistently which, in turn, has increased the demand for medical plastics. These products are responsible for the continuous increase in plastic production and waste generation, which are heightening environmental pollution levels and affecting the medical plastics industry growth. These are usually non-recyclable materials and are treated separately to avoid infection spread. Limited availability of medical waste management is leading to different types of pollution that include water and soil pollution. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the high usage of plastic products, which in turn is affecting the global environment. Restrictions over the use of these products for environmental concerns may, therefore, put at risk the demand for medical devices.


By Application Analysis

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Medical Disposables to Grow at Faster Pace during 2020-2027

On the basis of application, the market includes medical disposables, medical instruments, prosthetics & implants, drugs & implants, and others. The medical disposables segment dominated this market share in 2019. The dominance is owing to comparatively lower costs, easy sterilization, and high efficiency of disposable products such as gloves, masks, injections, and others. The medical instruments segment includes products such as wound dressing products, IV bags, and others. The increasing aging population and the use of plastic in medical procedures are leading to the growth of this market.

Prosthetics & implants segment will show significant growth owing to increasing awareness among consumers regarding cosmetics and aesthetic dentistry along with rising disposable income. A high rate of accidents across various countries is contributing to the growth in consumption. Drugs packaging segment is expected to grow due to the availability of new technological solutions such as self-administered drug delivery devices. Moreover, these solutions are easily manufactured and require low-cost raw materials along with the support from the drug administration association is supporting the market growth.


North America Medical Plastics Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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The market size in North America stood at USD 5.36 billion in 2019. Development in material technology for the healthcare industry is driving product demand. High disposable income and changes in consumer lifestyle, along with growing R&D investment, are boosting the adoption of technologically advanced medical products in the region. The U.S. is one of the major consumers of medical devices that include medical plastic instruments. The country also imports medical devices from Belgium, where the key product is categorized as identified by NAICS, which were valued at approx. $76.61 million in 2011.

The Asia Pacific dominated the medical plastics market share and may continue its dominance owing to increasing demand for hygiene and sanitation from consumers. Growing industrialization and globalization in developing economies such as China, India, Thailand, and others is expected to foster the market growth in this region. The recent COVID-19 outbreak in India, China, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and other countries have created a huge demand for medical bags, masks, gloves, coveralls, surgical drapes, and other PPEs. The Chinese Ministry of Health has been able to provide 90% of the population with public medical insurance.

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The market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR in Europe owing to the rising awareness of products to be used in the healthcare system for treatments. High disposable income and the adoption of proper hygiene by consumers in countries such as Germany, Italy, and France are supporting the medical plastics market growth. The European Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 (MDR) has been in operation since May 26, 2020, after the worldwide lockdown. The regulation has a noteworthy positive economic impact on local manufacturers.

The market in Latin America is expected to exhibit healthy growth owing to the increasing per capita healthcare spending. In addition to this, market players in the region are making heavy investments in healthcare systems which are fueling the product demand. The Middle East & Africa accounted for a comparatively lower share of the market owing to the presence of a huge underpenetrated market. The pharmaceutical and medical equipment sector is one of the 6 target sectors that are set by the Dubai Industrial Strategy for 2030. As per the Strategy Document, the share of this sector in manufacturing value stood at 1.8% in 2014.


Strong Portfolio to Propel SABIC, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE Evonik, and Covestro AG to Lead the Global Market

The market is fragmented owing to the wide product portfolio and strong distribution network of major companies and small-scale companies in developed and emerging economies. Currently, SABIC, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE Evonik, and Covestro AG lead the market, accounting for a dominant share. However, the pandemic's spread has caused a lot of small companies to make gains, which is projected to lead to an increase in the number of domestic players entering the global market. This is expected to lead to a slightly fragmented market by 2027, and other key players of protective equipment have also entered the market competition with advanced medical plastics products. Introduction of products and investment in research & development of vaccine technologies for coronavirus are some of the major strategies adopted by key players operating in the market.


  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)

  • Celanese Corporation (the U.S.)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Evonik (Germany)

  • Covestro AG (Germany)

  • Solvay (Belgium)

  • Röchling (Germany)

  • GW Plastics (the US)

  • Nolato AB (Sweden)

  • Eastman Chemical Company (the U.S.)

  • Other Key Players


  • In July 2021 – Minnesota Rubber and Plastics (MRP) acquired Pawling Engineered Products. The acquisition of Pawling’s capabilities will improve MRP’s existing product offerings, which includes engineered elastomer and thermoplastic for water, medical device, transportation, food and beverage, and other essential industries globally.

  • In December 2020 – Spectrum Plastics Group, the leader in specialty medical packaging, component, and contract manufacturer acquired PeelMaster Medical Packaging Corporation. The addition of PeelMaster will advance the company's position as a custom and flexible packaging supplier for the medical device sector. 

  • In November 2020 – GW Plastics Inc. announced the merger with Nolato Group. The company will together have more than 25 facilities with global positions on 3 key continents of North America, Asia, and Europe. This will also allow Nolato to offer customers expanded resources and capacity in filtration, healthcare, and automotive markets.

  • In January 2020 – The company introduced two medical-grade polycarbonate in drug delivery and surgical devices for patients and medical professionals. The products are Makrolon M204 LF, Makrolon M402 LF, and Makrolon M404 LF, which reduce coefficients of friction and deliver excellent dimensional and mechanical properties while eliminating the need for external lubricants.

  • In August 2019 – Kohlberg & Co. LLC announced the acquisition of Bemis Healthcare Packaging Europe from Amcor’s Flexible Packaging business. It will be further merged with Nelipak Corp. The acquisition accounted for $394 million for the three plants that provide flexible packaging to healthcare OEMs.


An Infographic Representation of Medical Plastics Market

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The medical plastics market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kilo Tons)


  Application and Geography

By Application


  • Medical Disposables

  • Medical Instruments & Tools

  • Prosthetics & Implants

  • Drugs Packaging

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, South Korea, Singapore,  and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Rest of South America)

  • The Middle East & Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global Medical Plastics Market size was USD 10.12 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 16.36 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the North America Market value stood at USD 3.87 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 6.2%, the Market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The advanced wound dressings segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing prevalence of chronic wounds and introduction of advanced products by market players are major factors driving the growth of the market.

Smith & Nephew, 3M, and ConvaTec Inc., are major players of the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

Launch of advanced technologies by market players like active therapies, NPWT, are expected to drive the adoption in the global market.

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