Frequently Asked Questions

Performance

1. How does Mirel compare to other bioplastics?
Mirel provides broader functionality and durability, yet is biodegradable in natural soil and water environments, home composting sytems, and industrial composting facilities. However, like nearly all other bioplastics and organic matter, Mirel is not designed to biodegrade in landfills. The rate and extent of Mirel’s biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it. Mirel is a performance bioplastic that can withstand high heat temperatures and hot boiling water. Mirel resins are certified by Vinçotte to biodegrade in natural soil and water environments, home composting systems, and industrial composting facilities, the latter of which may not be available in your area. This is distinctively different from the majority of other bioplastics, which typically require either industrial composting or additives that only facilitate the breakdown of the plastic material into microscopic pieces.

2. How does Mirel compare to conventional plastics?
Mirel is engineered to meet various applications and maintains the broad characteristics of petroleum-based plastics. Mirel can be processed on existing equipment with similar productivity and post-processing techniques.

Applications

3. Can Mirel be printed?
It depends on the grade, but UV offset, hot stamp, pad, digital offset, and color laser printing are doable. Mirel is a high-surface-energy material (35-45 dynes/cm).

4. Can Mirel be colored?
Mirel can easily be colored with Telles-recommended color concentrates.

5. Is Mirel UV-resistant?
Mirel grades have good resistance to UV radiation and don’t require additional UV stabilizers.

6. Is Mirel suitable for a living hinge application?
Living hinge is an application where the plastic is used as the hinge, so the plastic must have appropriate tear and impact properties to survive the number of cycles needed for the hinge. Mirel products are being evaluated in living hinge applications, and the early indications are encouraging.

7. Does your material contain phthalates?
No.

8. Does Metabolix own Biopol?
Metabolix continues to own the trademark and intellectual property for Biopol. Mirel has a slightly different base polymer composition than the original Biopol composition. The change results in improved properties and processing, as compared to the original Biopol grades.

Processing

9. What is the melt flow index?
Mirel P1003 injection molding grade processes like PP, with a melt index in the range of 10-15.

10. What is the maximum heat resistance temperature?
Mirel has high heat resistance and is dimensionally stable at boiling water temperatures, 100°C (212°F). Mirel P1003 injection molding grade has a Vicat softening temperature greater than 140°C (294°F). Please refer to the P1003 datasheet.

11. Can Mirel be melted at home?
Mirel should only be processed in equipment designed for plastic processing.

12. Can Mirel replace PP in a chemical packaging application?
Mirel has a chemical resistance similar to PET. Please see the chemical resistance bulletin. Acidic materials can attack polyesters under certain circumstances, so your specific conditions would need to be evaluated by a technical team member.

13. Can Mirel be used as a resin binder?
We are not currently looking at binder applications for Mirel, but we would be interested in hearing more about your need. Please contact us.

14. Can you refer me to an industrial compost bag manufacturer?
For North America,
Heritage Bag: Frank.Ruiz@plastimin.com
Lakeside Plastics: smacdonald@lakesidepackaging.net

Certifications

15. Is Mirel marine-biodegradable?
Mirel resins will biodegrade in marine environments in accordance with the ASTM D7081 standard for marine-biodegradable non-floating plastics.

16. Does Mirel meet the ASTM D6400 standard and the EN13432 standard (European equivalent) for industrial composting?
Mirel resins meet these important industry standards. Please see certifications.