Demand for disposable medical products with cost-effective, lightweight designs and the continued expansion of global trade are among the factors driving growth in the medical plastics market, according to a report from Transparency Market Research (Albany, NY).

“Medical Plastics Market—Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2012 – 2018” also points to rising demand for high-tech medical products, notably in the Asia-Pacific region, and the formation of organisations dedicated to the safe and effective recycling of medical plastic products as driving this trend.

The growth projections are in line with an earlier report from MarketsandMarkets (Seattle, WA), which said that the global medical plastics market will reach a value of $6.9 billion by 2020 and record a compound annual growth rate in the 7% range between 2015 and 2020.

Plastics are used extensively in the healthcare sector, from packaging and componentry to the devices themselves.

Some OEMs have successfully transitioned from metal-based devices to all-plastic constructions, such as a chemistry analyser from Idexx (Westbrook, ME) that was recently profiled in PlasticsToday.

The material’s design flexibility, relative low cost, biocompatibility and safety (because it enables the design and manufacture of single-use devices) are among the characteristics that make it attractive to medical device OEMs.

The report from Transparency Market Research segments the medical plastics market into categories based on resin types, including PVC, polyethylene, polycarbonate, polyester, polypropylene, ABS and polystyrene; applications; and geographies.

Key players in the medical plastics market named in the report include BASF, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Bayer, Cyro, ExxonMobil, Saint Gobain Performance Plastics and Alcan Packaging.