At this point, we would like to answer the most frequently asked questions. Should you have any questions, please contact us at the email address below, and we will promptly and gladly answer:
How confident are you that Miraplast will remain in Austria?
Very confident! As the largest employer in our community, we maitain a very high level of social responsibility, and we are very aware of this. Our approach is to create a solid line-up in several areas of business to ensure the necessary site security. This includes, in particular, the clear separation of the businesses MiraHome and MiraTech, which have been developed independently.
Why don´t you produce exclusively in Austria, why also in Hungary?
The Hungarian site was set up with all of our know-how in 1995 as a 100-percent subsidiary. Like many other Austrian companies, we answered the call of our customers and developed these markets with and for them. Meeting the necessary logistical requirements to operate optimally in the Eastern European market was also a reason to relocate article production.
Why do you advertise Austrian quality if you are producing in Hungary?
The company is under Austrian leadership, the machinery and know-how are from Austria, so we can claim with a good conscience, to also achieve high Austrian quality with this work. In any case, the site in Hungary produces according to the same strict quality criteria.
What quality standards do you have?
We have been certified for almost 20 years, according to ISO 9001:2008. In this system, we map all processes. In addition, we have implemented parts of the VDA for our automotive customers. Recently, we have also integrated the ISO 50001 on energy efficiency into our quality department. Through sustainable business policy we have also qualified ourselves to be a Leading Austrian Enterprise.
What does the apprenticeship system look like?
We train two occupations at the site in Austria: tooling engineer and plastics technician. Usually 3 to 4 apprentices are in training with us. Our commitment goes beyond even the classic apprenticeship. We have helped for some years with the diploma and engineering work of students at higher vocational schools and universities and are available for talks and lectures in classes.
Why not use bio-degradable plastic made from renewable resources?
We do not understand our products as a source of waste. With proper care, our products can be used for many years. Should one break, it can be placed in a yellow bag - The consumer can do that to shrink piles of rubbish because we are then recycling valuable material. We still view the topic of bioplastics cautiously. First, the energy balance of a bio-degradable plastic is not necessarily better than that of conventional materials. In addition, these plastics are produced from food sources (e.g. corn) and do not have high durability.
Furthermore, the necessary material properties for wider application do not even exist. A replacement for conventional plastics is thus very limited, if possible at all. However, our products are used for years and thus save a lot of packaging waste.
Last but not least, the prices for bio-degradable plastics are still far above those of conventional plastics and the market research that has been conducted indicates that the customer is not willing to pay this additional cost. With conventional plastics, we are talking about an 8 percent share of total crude oil consumption. Therefore, heating and transportation should really be the main consideration.
Do you plan to bring products made from bio-degradable plastics to the market? If so, when? If not, why not?
We have already been involved for several years in the production and development of such raw materials and have as part of a cluster project, together with partner companies, earned an award. We have also already produced smaller series for customers.
Basically, material properties and consistent quality are still lacking, and the use is not yet applicable for many consumer durables. The research starting with material specifications and ending with controlled recycling just is not far enough along yet. As long as consumers do not have sufficient information on how and where one can recycle bio-degradable plastic, we believe the time is not yet ripe.
Whether it ever makes sense for consumer durables to use these materials, we will first learn in the coming years.
What environmental improvement measures have you recently implemented in your plants? What is planned concerning this in the future?
We focus on measures to save material when new products are developed, as well as measures to improve energy efficiency in production. So recently some new plants were put into operation, the energy consumption is up to 30 percent lower.
How do you check your suppliers and customers in terms of their sustainability profiles?
Many of our customers and suppliers have developed their own profiles in terms of sustainability. We welcome this very much, but have no influence on the content. We can only take this into consideration when selecting our partners.
How green are your logistics (use of trains, use of reusable systems for transportation, etc.)?
In fact, we also use the web as a means of transport. With MiraTech customers there are also agreements on the use of reusable packaging instead of disposable cardboard boxes. Basically, the idea is to buy as much as possible from the immediate area, ranging from raw materials to machines.
Miraplast keeps transport routes as short as possible with the central warehouse in Austria! Unlike other companies in the industry, we only produce in our two factories, which are close to one another, and thus avoid driving across half of Europe.
What happens to your waste products?
The vast majority of product waste is recycled and used again for other products. Soiled items are discarded.
Where do the raw materials that you process come from?
The vast majority of the raw material is polypropylene and comes from nearby plants in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. Engineering plastics are usually specified by the customer; these are sometimes produced at several locations worldwide.
Since you stress your Austrian origins so much, why don´t you use only Austrian raw materials?
Using only Austrian raw materials is not possible because the necessary types are not all produced in Austria. Thought through consistently, the precursors of plastics and crude oil are not produced in Austria. In mineral water from PET bottles, one can taste the plastic in the contents.
How do you ensure that your products do not have a "taste", that they are neutral in taste?
Basically, almost all materials except glass have a taste of their own. The case of plastic having a possible flavor of its own is a combination of the material formulation and processing.
First, it is an issue for the suppliers of raw materials, who must prove to us a perfect food safety record according to applicable EU standards.
Second, it is our responsibility. Testing and manufacturing according to the same EU standards, and of course we pay strict attention to compliance with our own high quality standards. Basically we recommend customers to thoroughly wash all items before first use.
What types of plastics do you use?
PS, SAN, PP, PE, PA, PBT
Do you also use PVC? If so, why? PVC is frequently criticized and sometimes banned?
Its very special properties have thus far made PVC irreplaceable for many applications. An undifferentiated ban does not make sense, and would call into question many products. Anyway, without exception, we use no PVC for our products that come into contact with food.
What environmental burdens are associated with both of your plants?
We operate heating with oil or gas. A major portion of the heating is covered by the recovery of waste heat. The majority of plastic waste is recycled in house, and - if allowed by the customer - reused.
Do you produce in Hungary because the environmental regulations are less strict there than in Austria?
No, Hungary is comparable with Austria in its obligations for environmental, labor and safety standards.
What do you do for your employees, which goes beyond the legal minimums?
We have dealt intensively in recent years with the theme of "productive aging" and have put a variety of measures into effect in this area. This ranges from professional further qualification for older employees, to programs for quitting smoking, to back fitness.
What is the proportion of women / part-time staff / and people with disabilities in your company?
Almost half of our workforce is women. Many of them work part time with us. Also, three people with disabilities work at our company.
You also export your products. Does this include any politically questionable countries?