Onion skin


Made in

Biodegradable 222 Circular 206 Composite 95 Milk 6 Vinegar 13

Onion skin

Photos: Renuka Ramanujam


HUID is a project that aims to create an exemplary model of what a circular local economy could look like by way of combining waste streams and by-products, as well as creating a biodegradable material that can help to circumvent the issues surrounding petroleum based materials.

Onions are fairly ubiquitous around the world, their skins often destined for compost. The intervention of using such a common material prevents further plastic usage that can be implemented on a local level in many places, while only delaying the onion skin's journey to the compost pile for a short while.

By-products involved in the production of HUID can also be recycled back into a local community for other purposes. The water used to treat the skins before processing can be used as a textile dye for artisanal purposes, or as the base of a vegetable stock.

HUID is made with a natural adhesive that is also currently under development to be sourced from a waste stream. The material takes between two and four weeks to break down in the correct conditions.

Currently applications for packaging are being developed, but the full scope of the material is still unknown. Qualities and colour ranges are still being developed. HUID is not being supplied commercially yet, but is open to small scale collaborations.

Additional information

The process isn't fully defined, but the onions are boiled, and bound together with a casein based adhesive that renders them strong even under exposure to water. Offcuts or small pieces of skin that aren't big enough to be made into veneers are ground to become raw material for a different quality.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Onion skins, milk, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, water, (sometimes tung oil).