Skip to content

Medical Grade Plastics:
Plastics for medical applications

Which plastics can be safely used in medical technology to manufacture medical and pharmaceutical products or packaging? This and the term “Medical Grade Plastics” are explained in this short article.

The basics: plastics in healthcare

Hochtransparente sterilisierbare Biokunststoffe: MedEco Perform

Health care is a highly regulated environement. Where glass and metal were used in the past, today plastics have become established. But plastics aren´t always the same. Properties such as biocompatibility, sterilisability, temperature and chemical resistance determine whether or not a plastic is suitable for medical applications.

This is where the term “Medical Grade Plastic” comes into play. And we now explain in detail what medical plastics are.

Deepdive: the usage of medical grade plastics

Medical Grade Plastics

While “plastic” is a very broad term, “medical grade plastic” refers to a plastic that meets certain basic requirements for use in medicine. The term Medical Grade Plastic is, by the way, defined in the VDI guideline 2017 .

Manufacturers of medical devices can therefore pay attention to the designation “Medical Grade” when selecting materials from the supplier. Also important are the standards ISO 13 485 for quality management, EN ISO 10 993 for biocompatibility of materials and ISO 14 971 (risk management for medical devices).


MedEco Medical Grade Compounds für Spritzen
Medical device made of Medical Grade bioplastic

Use of plastics in medicine:

  1. Plastics in medical devices or parts of medical devices (e.g. syringes, endoscopes, consumables)
  1. plastics as packaging of medical products (e. g. blisters)
  2. Plastics for use in the body (e. g. herniated discs made of PEEK)
Ein Gute Frage für BIOVOX

Good question: Which polymers are used in medical technology – and is this also available in BIO?

These (bio) plastics are used in medical technology

Conventional plastics such as PE, PC, PP and PVC are among the most commonly used polymers.

Bio-based plastics are increasingly being used in medical technology. Like other industries, the health sector also has to deal with the issue of sustainability. The EU is pushing for the transformation of the European economy towards a fossil-independent circular economy .

Manufacturers are now faced with the challenge of increasing the use of “medical grade bioplastics” or Medical recycled plastics . Because safety is paramount in medicine.

It is a good thing that bioplastics, like their established conventional plastic precursors, have all the necessary properties in this respect: Barrier properties, sterilization capability etc. are no problem when choosing the right bio-material.

Einteilung von Biokunststoffen nach biologischer Abbaubarkeit und Rohstoff
Infographic: Organic vs. conventional plastics
Julian Lotz
Dr.-Ing. Julian Lotz, Co-Founder of BIOVOX

"These Medical Grade Bioplastics are for example here with us. The BIOVOX compounds are high quality, sustainable and safe for you, thanks to certified ISO 13 485 quality manager and ISO 10 993 certification of biocompatibility. If you need support when switching to a bio-based material, I will be happy to advise you.“

In a nutshell: our conclusion on Recycled Medical Grade Plastics

BIOVOX Megaphon

Plastics have to meet certain safety and quality requirements for use in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. Manufacturers can use the term “medical grade” to choose the right plastic. Manufacturers will have to pay attention to sustainable materials in the future, because the EU is calling on the healthcare industry to be more sustainable and at the same time deliver safe healthcare.

More BIOVOX knowledge

BIOVOX Biokunststoffe für Medizintechnik, Pharma, Lebensmittel und Kosmetik

The future of plastics

In this article, we look at how to generate value streams from hospital waste and recycle it into the production of new medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging. In short: how the circular economy succeeds in healthcare.

Read More »
Medical products that could be made out of bioplastics.

Circular Economy in Healthcare

In this article, we look at how to generate value streams from hospital waste and recycle it into the production of new medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging. In short: how the circular economy succeeds in healthcare.

Read More »
Klimawandel und Gesundheitsversorgung

Planetary Health

Your products are made from bioplastics now – great, but how do you communicate this switch to your target group? In this article, we explain how to communicate sustainability authentically.

Read More »
MedEco Medical Grade Compounds für Spritzen

Recycled Medical Grade

Plastics have been an essential part of medical technology for decades. In order to secure medical care for mankind, the material must therefore be handled in a sustainable manner. One option: Recycling! But can recyclates be used in medical technology?

Read More »