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The Europe sharps containers market size was valued at USD 195.1 million in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 203.5 million in 2022 to USD 282.9 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with sharps containers experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across Europe compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, this market exhibited a slower growth of 1.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Clinical waste has become the biggest challenge and is generated in tons by companies engaged in pharmaceuticals manufacturing, pharmacies, healthcare professionals, and healthcare and research institutions. This waste needs special handling and treatment due to its toxicity and infectious contents such as syringes, infected glass, contagious materials, body parts, serology samples, and blood components. Detection, segregation, and management of the safe disposal of wastes have become an essential health priority. For the management of medical waste, several government agencies, public/non-public entities, and manufacturing establishments have been making efforts to raise awareness regarding the harmless disposal of clinical waste. Hence, rigorous guidelines have been enforced to manage medical waste to avert a severe risk to the human body and the environment.
Bins utilized for biomedical waste have become sought-after products in the secure and harmless disposal of sharps instruments, including needles, syringes, lancets, and others. A number of containers are composed of firm and long-lasting plastic materials, which can be reused after proper disinfection. Sharps containers are available in various shapes and sizes based on the type of application in which they are being used. The overall competitive landscape is highly competitive as several small-scale, large-scale, and start-up companies have penetrated the market to develop valuable and infection-free products. Hence, this will most likely boost the market growth in Europe during the forecast period.
Reduction of Hospital Visits led to a Decline in Sharps Containers Usage
The COVID-19 pandemic has impeded the Europe market growth, largely due to lockdowns that prompted a dip in hospital visits. The pandemic has impacted the market growth negatively due to many factors, including production and supply chain issues, diversion of funds and production resources to other essential commodities, and decline in the number of visits to healthcare facilities. This decline in the volume of hospital visits in Europe has led to a decrease in the usage of sharps, which led to slower market growth in 2020.
However, one of the factors that offset the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was the increase in the number of hospitalizations in Europe arising due to coronavirus. According to the data published by Our World in Data, from March 2020 onwards, several countries in Europe witnessed a surge in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. For instance, the U.K. witnessed an increase of 181.0%, and France witnessed an increase of 683.0% in terms of COVID-19-related hospitalizations from March 2020 to April 2022.
In 2021, the market in Europe witnessed strong prospects due to the resuming of normal healthcare activities in the region owing to the overall easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Furthermore, the strong surge in the usage of injections across diverse healthcare institutions in Europe to administer COVID-19 vaccines also contributed to the market growth.
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Eco-friendly & Cost-Effective Attributes of Reusable Products to Provide Avenues for Future Product Launches
A prevailing trend in the Europe sharps containers market growth is that the newer reusable product offerings are eco-friendlier with innovations in terms of greater safety features such as hand blocking mechanisms. An increase in the number of patient visits to hospitals due to scheduled surgeries and treatment for infections has led to an increase in the amount of medical waste generated, including sharps waste, which has increased the adoption rate of these products.
Hospital management is moving toward adopting reusable products due to the benefit of cost-effectiveness that it offers. Moreover, the increasing demand for injections in Europe has grown rapidly due to the rising prevalence of diseases, such as diabetes and the ongoing vaccination drive conducted against COVID-19, which have led to huge sharps waste generation and simultaneously the need for its disposal. Therefore, regulatory bodies in Europe are taking initiatives to incorporate favorable and stringent guidelines for reusable products that are environment-friendly and offer cost-effective attributes. Hence, these market trends offer opportunities to key players for future product launches.
Rising Awareness Regarding Medical Waste Disposal to Boost Product Adoption
One of the most critical drivers that is positively impacting the market growth is the substantial increase in the awareness of proper and safe disposal of medical wastes. For instance, Health Care Without Harm Europe surveyed in 2020 to understand waste management practices and challenges within European hospitals. It received 25 responses from 9 countries, out of which almost 92.0% of respondents have a dedicated training program on waste segregation and collection, and 68.0% of the respondents’ training program includes a strategic plan, promotion of a recycling culture, a reuse scheme, and a packaging reduction in procurement criteria
Such initiatives for increasing awareness of medical waste disposal in healthcare institutions have led to effective disposal of medical waste and will ultimately boost the adoption of these products.
Increase in the Usage of Syringes to Propel the Market Growth
In Europe, the demand for syringes has witnessed a consistent increase and has significantly spiked as the vaccination drives were conducted during the pandemic. Thus, the need for safe discarding of these products has also increased. For instance, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading medical technology company, received 2 billion injections device orders for needles and syringes to support vaccination efforts in more than 40 countries, including the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the U.S. They have delivered more than 900 million injection devices to date, with the remaining to be delivered by 2022.
Furthermore, this has led to the engagement of several established and emerging companies in the R&D initiatives to develop products with varying features, purposes, and designs. For instance, in September 2020, Daniels Healthcare introduced the evolved SHARPSGUARD eco pharmi range made from 100% recycled material combining the highest quality and safety standards. Such developments reflect great promise in terms of future product launches, leading to strong and sustained market growth.
High Costs Attributed to these Products to Hinder Market Growth
Despite various benefits attributed to these products, several limiting factors are anticipated to hamper the market growth over the forecast period. For example, in the case of disposable containers, which are widely used for the biohazard waste disposal, the higher cost is associated with its clinical waste disposal coupled with an increased transportation cost of waste to the incinerator.
The reusable product offerings offer many benefits, such as the ability to use them multiple times, but only when proper cleanliness is maintained, which is carried out through an extensive sterilization process, which demands extra expenditure. Moreover, according to the Daniels Healthcare study in 2021, 33.0% of the volume of every sharps container is made of plastic. Every year, several tons of unnecessary waste from these disposable plastic products emit almost 12.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Increasing usage of reusable products in this market is expected to drive its adoption rate in the healthcare industry. However, the substantial costs associated with these products and their management may deter their widespread adoption across Europe.
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Wider Applications of Multipurpose Containers Will Lead to the Segment’s Dominant Market Share
Based on product type, the market is segmented into multipurpose containers, patient room containers, and phlebotomy containers.
The multipurpose containers segment accounted for the largest proportion of Europe sharps containers market share in 2021, which is attributable to a large number of product offerings in this segment and their wider applications in clinical waste. These containers have become trendier as they offer ample volume and space for the disposal of a variety of sharps, which provide maximum safety to healthcare professionals leading to its greater adoption.
The patient room containers are sought to discard needles, syringes, and soiled cotton swabs to avoid the risk of infection in patients and healthcare professionals. They are widely used in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to prevent access to containers’ contaminated content and to comply with strict medical waste disposal guidelines. The segment will grow at a considerable CAGR during the forecast period due to the rising need for correct disposal of medical waste.
Phlebotomy containers dispose of blood, IV needles, and hypodermics. These containers are used in clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals to safely discard blood samples and accessories. The segment witnessed a comparatively lower CAGR in the forecast period.
Generation of Significant Medical Wastes by Hospitals to Enable their Market Dominance
In terms of waste generator, the market is segregated into pharmacies, hospitals, academic & research institutes, other healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and others. The hospitals segment was expected to dominate the segment with the highest market share in 2021, as a large amount of medical waste is generated by hospitals that need more disposable bins. Furthermore, a robust number of surgeries and infections with increasing patient visits and compliance with regulatory guidelines for medical waste disposal are cumulatively anticipated to further drive the growth of the segment during the forecast period.
Other healthcare providers accounted for the second-highest market share, which is attributable to the greater adoption of these products for safe sharps disposal by various healthcare professionals to prevent needle-stick injuries and further infections. Academic & research institutions, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies are continuously under surveillance to comply with government guidelines for proper management of clinical waste, including hazardous and infectious waste.
Benefits Attributed to Reusable Containers to Enable the Segment to Exhibit Highest CAGR
Based on usage, the market is bifurcated into reusable containers and single-use containers. Reusable containers generated the highest revenue and the segment is expected to grow with a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The demand for reusable products is increasing, especially in hospital settings due to their significant benefits such as cost-effectiveness, the ability to use them multiple times when their cleanliness is maintained, and being environment-friendly.
The single-use containers segment is projected to grow at a comparatively lower CAGR during the forecast period due to their high costs and their cost of waste management is high, which includes the packaging, taping, and finalizing of the shipment. Single-use containers are used extensively in research institutes and pharmaceutical companies as their research is infection-driven and need to be disposed of cautiously.
Increased Usage of Sharps Led to their Leading Market Position in 2021
On the basis of waste type, the market is segmented into infectious waste, sharps waste, non-infectious waste, and pharmaceutical waste. The sharps waste segment held a dominant market share in 2021 and is estimated to grow at a strong CAGR during the forecast period, which is attributable to an increase in the use of sharps in homecare settings in the patient population with chronic conditions such as diabetes, where injectable therapy is a daily need, which leads to an enormous amount of sharps waste generation.
Infectious waste registered significant revenue in 2021 due to the increased usage of test kits, collection of diagnostic samples, swabs, bandages, and plastic vials during the pandemic in public and private hospitals, leading to the generation of a huge amount of infectious waste.
The segments of non-infectious waste and pharmaceutical waste are expected to witness steady growth as they are widely used by pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, and R&D facilities. The increasing R&D activities by these healthcare institutions are likely to produce substantial medical waste, which will require proper waste management.
Wide Usage of 2-4 Gallons Containers Led to their Substantial Market Share in 2021
The products are available in various sizes and shapes based on the application type in which they are used. The 2-4 gallons segment accounted for the highest revenue generation, which is widely used by nurses in hospitals and clinics for disposal of injections and cotton swabs. Moreover, these sharps containers have vertical drop lids and are widely preferred in hospitals, research institutes, and diagnostic laboratories for the disposal of syringes, tips, and other waste as they are deposited directly in the bin.
Large gallon containers, such as 4-8 gallons are used in hospitals where waste generation is higher to effectively manage medical waste disposal. Additionally, these products are also available in 1-2 gallons, which are used for a variety of purposes, including biohazard disposal, and thus are likely to have steady demand during the forecast period owing to their higher applicability and variability.
Effective Medical Waste Management Strategies of Germany, France, and the U.K. will Lead to their Market Dominance
On the basis of country/sub-region, the Europe market is segmented into Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and the rest of Europe.
The market size in Europe stood at USD 195.1 million in 2021 and the region is expected to witness steady growth trends during the forecast period. The rising awareness regarding medical waste disposal, presence of developed countries, and the increased usage of sharps across Europe with robust reinforcement of guidelines regarding sharps disposal are expected to drive the market growth in the forecast period.
In terms of countries, Germany accounted for the highest market size of USD 52.6 million in 2021. The country focuses strongly on adherence to infection control and safety regulations by incorporating segregation and proper waste disposal practices. For instance, according to the estimates by Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Germany generates an estimated 325 and 350 million tonnes of medical waste, and hazardous waste accounts for 5.0%. These wastes are managed through various waste treatment techniques, depending on the type of waste involved.
France is projected to account for the second-highest market share in Europe during the forecast period. For instance, according to the Association of Cities and Regions (ACR) of France, there are 1.4 million self-managing patients on the French territory, producing annually 360 tons of home-generated medical waste. Such statistics are expected to further intensify the demand and growth rate of these products in the country.
The U.K. is estimated to witness a comparatively significant CAGR during the forecast period. The high generation of medical waste, boosting the need for effective medical waste management, is driving the growth of the market in the country. The other European countries, including Italy, Spain, and Scandinavia will grow at comparatively lower CAGR due to lack of uniformity and strong regulations related to clinical waste management, especially sharps waste, which affects the awareness regarding the safe disposal of sharps containers in healthcare institutions.
Daniels’ & Stericycle’s Diverse Product Portfolio with a Strong Distribution Network to Lead to Their Market Prominence in Europe
In terms of the competitive landscape, the market reveals a fragmented structure as no single organization influences the market’s growth trajectory singularly. The key players dominate the market by emphasizing research and development activities to diversify their product portfolio and engagement in various strategic initiatives. Furthermore, companies’ strong distribution network coupled with their increasing product availability in various European countries are expected to contribute to their market dominance in the Europe market.
Key companies in the Europe market include Daniels - A Mauser Company, Stericycle, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) due to their strong distribution network and a diverse product portfolio in this market. Stericycle has a strong presence in the Europe market. In contrast, Daniels – A Mauser Company holds a strong share in key countries such as the U.K. It is one of the leading distributors of sharps containers with its own diverse range of offerings. Other players include Daniels Sharpsmart Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., and Cardinal Health, who are actively focused on increasing their unit sales to increase their product availability.
An Infographic Representation of Europe Sharps Containers Market
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The Europe sharps containers market research report provides detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as the pricing analysis, adoption/usage overview of sharps containers for key countries in Europe, guidelines overview for medical and hazardous waste disposal, key industry developments, and the impact of COVID-19 on the Europe market. Besides these, the research report offers insights into market opportunities and highlights key strategies by key players. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD million)
By Product Type
By Waste Generator
By Waste Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the Europe market size was USD 195.1 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 282.9 million by 2029.
Growing at a CAGR of 4.8%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
Multipurpose containers could be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
The rising awareness regarding medical waste disposal, increased usage of syringes across Europe, and the robust reinforcement of guidelines are the major factors driving the growth of the market.
Daniels - A Mauser Company, Stericycle, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) are the major market players in the Europe market.
Germany dominated the market in 2021.
Increased adoption by institutions, such as manufacturing companies, hospitals, healthcare providers, academic & research institutes, and pharmacies, is expected to drive the growth of the market.
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