The global mortuary bags market size was valued at USD 393.03 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 590.60 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.63% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The rise in non-communicable disease (NCD) deaths supports the market growth of mortuary bags.
Mortuary bags, also known as cadaver bags, corpse bags, body bags, recovery bags, and human-remains pouches, transport, and store deceased corpses. Bed linens, blankets, shelter halves, ponchos, parachute canopies, sleeping bag covers, tablecloths, curtains, tarpaulins, or discarded canvas were all used instead of body bags before their widespread availability. This was especially common in World War II combat zones.
On the other hand, subsequent rubber (and now plastic) mortuary bag designs are vastly superior, not least because they prevent the common post-mortem leakage of body fluids. These bags are generally made from polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), woven or non-woven polypropylene, or other durable fabrics. A mortuary bag's typical measurements are 36 inches by 90 inches. The majority feature transporting handles, usually composed of webbing, at every corner and all the way around. These cargo bags are indispensable for hospitals, funeral homes, public safety, firefighting, and other units.
|Market Size||USD 590.60 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The frequency of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continues to increase globally, especially in developing countries, with different risk factors contributing to the surge. Rapid urbanization and westernization of lifestyle, dietary habits, and the aging population are a few factors contributing to the burden of non-communicable diseases. According to the WHO, NCDs kill 41 million people annually, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.
Approximately 15 million individuals globally, within the age range of 30 to 70, experience premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at a rate of one person every two seconds. NCDs have contributed to the highest number of deaths across the world. This has increased the demand for mortuary bags in a global range. The market expansion of mortuary bags is significantly supported by the increasing number of deaths resulting from the rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as these bags are designed for storing and transporting deceased individuals.
Scientists have projected that humans will likely face several pandemics, epidemics, and contagious disease outbreaks. Severe spread and lack of control methods result in high mortality, causing millions of deaths. Deaths caused by infectious diseases need protective methods of body disposal. Improper handling of deceased individuals might lead to the emergence of infection hotspots. Therefore, mortuary bags are one of the key products that can be largely used as the first line of defense for controlling the spread of infection. It helps personnel handle dead bodies and protects them from any possible infection.
Additionally, the world has seen multiple pandemics, outbreaks, and epidemics. Due to increased technological advances in the R&D segment, several new viruses and infectious diseases bacteria are being researched. Some countries are preparing themselves for bio-wars, which include the spread of infectious diseases, causing death to other people. Although it is too early to talk about biological warfare, these instances are possible and could impact humans. These factors are likely to have a positive effect on the mortuary bags market.
Waste from plastic is a major environmental threat to humans and animals. Plastics majorly impact the environment as it takes several years to decompose. The discharge of harmful materials into the soil occurs as a result of the degradation of plastic materials due to exposure to sunlight or combustion processes. Consequently, the emission of toxic substances into the atmosphere takes place, leading to the occurrence of ambient air pollution.
Plastic pollution has become a worldwide concern as the planet is flooded with microplastics and plastic litter. Though plastic has various valuable uses, societies have become highly dependent on single-use or disposable plastic, having severe environmental consequences. The growing production of plastic worldwide has surpassed 8 billion metric tons and is expected to increase further in the coming years. Owing to such harmful impacts, the adoption of mortuary bags can decrease, and the need for biodegradable body bags will likely increase.
There has been an increase in performing autopsies to improve medical care quality and assurance. An integral part of public health, clinical autopsy has brought critical advances in understanding disease and its treatment, improving many lives and saving many lives. Clinical autopsy has improved clinical knowledge of the wide range of infectious diseases worldwide, resulting in several deaths.
An autopsy presents a significant opportunity for applying next-generation DNA sequencing to better understand genetic and molecular causes of human illnesses. Autopsies of cancer lesions, enhanced imaging techniques, and animal research can open new avenues for cancer treatment. Deceased individuals are placed in mortuary/dead body bags to undergo autopsies. These bags have become a major component of the autopsy kit, creating market growth opportunities.
Based on region, the global mortuary bags market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Europe is the most significant global mortuary bags market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.58% during the forecast period. Europe has emerged as the most dominating region in the global mortuary bags market owing to the growing aging population affected by chronic diseases, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and frequent outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics, increasing the number of deaths across the region. In 2017, over 4.6 million people died in EU countries, majorly due to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases, and other external causes. These diseases have contributed to the high death rate, increasing the demand for mortuary bags across the region. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for mortuary bags increased. It was estimated that over 1.5 million deaths occurred in Europe due to the COVID-19 virus by the end of 2020. The constant number of deaths has increased the demand for body bags for proper disposal, storage, and transportation.
North America is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.46% over the forecast period. Major aspects contributing to the expansion of the market in the region are the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases like heart diseases, cancer, accidents, unintentional injuries, and others, which boost the death rate and the subsequent demand for mortuary bags. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies in the United States every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease. Similarly, one person in Canada dies from a heart attack or stroke every five minutes. Infectious diseases, epidemics/pandemics, medication errors, road accidents, and crime rates have further increased the death rate in the region. The growing death rate across the region has increased the adoption of mortuary bags for safe storage and transportation of the deceased.
Asia-Pacific is the quickest-growing region in the global mortuary bags market. Major factors contributing to the market's growth across the region include the rising elderly population suffering from acute and chronic conditions. Most deaths in Asia-Pacific occur due to non-communicable diseases, especially in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia. In addition, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases will likely increase drastically over the next few decades. These include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. For instance, cancer is the second most prominent cause of death after CVD in the Asia-Pacific region. Cancer was the cause of an estimated 4.5 million deaths. The prevalence of these diseases is leading to deaths across the region, thereby increasing the demand for mortuary bags.
In Latin America, unintentional injuries resulting from traffic collisions, poisoning, falls, drowning, burns, violence from assault, self-inflicted acts of war, exposure to mechanical forces, and natural disasters contribute to many deaths. In the WHO Region of the Latin Americas, injuries have emerged as a prominent cause of mortality and morbidity across all age cohorts, resulting in the loss of nearly 635,000 lives in 2015. This figure represents 9.7% of the total fatalities recorded that year. A study revealed that proportionate mortality by unintentional injuries among various Latin American countries varied from 3% to 19% in 2021. This has raised the need for mortuary bags to handle and transport dead bodies. The growing need and shortage of mortuary bags have also raised the demand for these bags and spurred market expansion in the region.
In the Middle East and Africa, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity is increasing. For instance, the Union for International Cancer Control has reported approximately 555,000 new cancer cases and 330,000 mortalities from 2012 to 2018 in the Middle East region. Cancer causes around 78 deaths per 100,000 people in the Middle East region. In Africa, about 1,055,172 new cases of cancer were recorded in 2018. Therefore, there was a high demand for mortuary bags in the region.
The global mortuary bags market is bifurcated into raw materials, size, and end-user.
Based on raw materials, the global mortuary bags market is segmented into polyethylene, PVC, PVA, PEVA, nylon, polyester, and others.
The polyethylene segment is the largest contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.81% over the forecast period. Polythene is the most durable type of plastic as it offers high chemical resistance and cost-effectiveness. It is the most preferred material as it is durable, lightweight, economical, and widely available. Polyethylene has major advantages of enhanced protection, excellent rigidity, superior flexibility, high adaptability, and is easily recyclable. It is highly versatile, customizable, and leakage-proof. This item is low weight, necessitates minimal storage capacity, and can be conveniently moved. In addition, the product is characterized by its ease of processing and opaque nature. The durability and resistance of polyethylene toward external influences ensure the preservation of the dead body.
Nylon is a strong and stiff engineered plastic that is versatile, flexible, cheap, and durable. It has high wear and abrasion resistance. It has other features that include lightweight, waterproof, and cost-effective. It resists wrinkles and shrinkage and is pleat retentive. Therefore, nylon can be wiped clean and washed easily. It can also resist damage from oil and many chemicals and has insulating properties. In addition, nylon is a preferable material for placing and handling the dead body. Nylon body bags wrap the body or fragments and seal completely with adhesive tape.
Based on size, the global mortuary bags market is segmented into adult, heavy duty and bariatric, and children/infant.
The adult segment owns the highest market share and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.79% throughout the forecast period. Adults account for the largest number of deaths worldwide, majorly due to chronic conditions such as heart diseases, cancer, stroke, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, unintentional injuries, influenza, and pneumonia. These are the leading causes of death among adults in the world population. In addition, the adult mortality rate from the World Development Indicators (WDI) database is the probability that a 15-year-old will perish before reaching 60 (shown per 1,000 persons). Adult body bags are made of strong materials such as PEVA, PVC, and polyethylene, which can hold 100 to 150 kg.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, responsible for at least 2.8 million deaths annually. The frequency of obesity has nearly tripled in the last six decades. Heavy-duty post-mortem adult body bags were designed to carry heavier individuals who passed away. This is ideal for bariatric cases where a stronger bag is required and is commonly used in mortuaries for transporting large bodies. These bags can accommodate up to 250–300 kg and include a U-shaped zip and ten carry handles for convenient transporting. Heavy-duty body bags and bariatric with envelope zippers prevent leaks while transported.
Based on end-users, the global mortuary bags market is bifurcated into hospitals, mortuaries, and others.
The hospitals segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 5.02% during the forecast period. Hospitals report a high number of deaths, majorly due to the admission of patients suffering from chronic and life-threatening diseases. Hospitals store dead bodies either to hand them over to authorities for conducting funerals or for study purposes. Death with unidentified causes, especially, are kept in mortuary bags to find the exact reason for death. In addition, hospitals have mortuaries, which are important for the preservation of dead bodies. Dead bodies are preserved in mortuary bags so that forensic and pathological investigations can be conducted and scientific investigations can be conducted to determine the cause of death.
Mortuaries generally include a waiting mortuary and a temporary mortuary. Moreover, many times in mortuaries, bodies are waiting for identification. Therefore, they must be preserved longer to maintain a suitable environment for dead bodies and reduce bacterial growth with anti-bacterial powder. Mortuary bags provide a suitable option for preserving dead bodies. All these factors propel higher usage of mortuary bags, thereby contributing to market growth.