Turn and Flow

by Kimberley Dobney in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 12th May 2020 we successfully raised £7,075 with 141 supporters in 55 days

Recycle menstrual care products into energy! We're organising laboratory trials to develop the technology.

by Kimberley Dobney in London, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

This extra money will be put towards the development of the bin that you will see in public toilets and eventually in your homes. A physical bin (a product) is something that investors can easily understand... so by giving now, you are actually helping us raise money and develop in the future! 

Most menstruators want to be sustainable throughout their period, but find reusable menstrual care products intimidating and difficult to fit into modern life.

The Mission

Turn and Flow is developing the technology to recycle organic pads and tampons. Our system will make used menstrual care products into a source of energy and natural fertiliser.

The Problem

Around 50% of the population menstruates every month for an average of 40 years yet there are huge social stigmas hindering the ‘menstrual’ industries progression. A single menstruator in the UK will use between 5,000 and 15,000 pads and tampons in their lifetime. The majority of these will end up as plastic waste, and persist for at least 500 years.

 Reusable alternatives present a sustainable solution, however, some people find them intimidating and difficult to fit into modern life. The high initial cost means they are exclusive to those of high economic status, the cleaning process requires clean running water and they do not eradicate the use of disposable products completely. There is a clear need for both reusable and disposable.

Our Solution

Many menstruators use pads or tampons and so converting to the organic versions of these products only requires a change in perspective and purchasing habit, not use. Organic pads and tampons are better for the environment and significantly better for the body.

We will use Anaerobic Digestion to recycle used organic menstrual care products. This is the process of waste being stored in a container with no oxygen where it breaks down into biogas, which can be used as a source of clean energy and a nutrient-rich fertisliser.

The laboratory trial will be supervised by Dr Yadira Bajón Fernández and Dr Heather  at Cranfield University in order to test out the core technology. 

The trial aims to:

  • Prove that the core technology will work and quantify the energy potential of the waste (how much energy will be produced) and test the quality of the fertiliser.
  • Explore User receptivity amongst potential service users towards the use of organic menstrual products and ensure a user-centred system is designed. 
  • Understand the receptivity of the large scale AD sector to accept organic menstrual care products and illuminate regulatory challenges. 

How did Turn and Flow begin?


Our project lead Kimberley (right) began to Turn and Flow to bring an update to menstrual care systems and the attitudes surrounding them. As other areas of society have moved on, menstruation and how we deal with it is still stuck in the 1950s.  Kimberley later teamed up with Ciara (left) who she met during her time at Brunel University London. They share the unshakeable belief that it is time society started having open and honest conversations about menstruation and the way we deal with blood.

Our Budget

The trial will run for 6 months, below is an overview of where your money will be going. In light of Covid-19, the start date has been postponed, a new date will be decided as soon as the labs reopen.   

Our Future

Once we have the results from the laboratory trial, we want to create a service available to the public. To balance the inequalities in our recycling systems we propose:

  • A Turn certification process to show the products can be recycled and are truly organic (displayed on the organic brands you know and love)
  • A subscription so that spaces (cafes, studios, workspaces etc.) can install a Turn bin in their toilet cubicles and recycle the menstrual waste
  • A convenient collection method to transport the waste from the space to the recycling plant
  • A platform to clearly see data on the environmental contributions of Turn

Thank you for supporting Turn and Flow!

To learn more about what we do, visit our brand new website: 



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£20 or more

15 of 60 claimed

Sustainable A6 print

Turn is designed to look good, good enough to display on your wall, whoever you are!!! Choose between three A6 prints and we'll post it to you on recycled paper with a handwritten thank you note.

£3 or more

£3 A drink at our next event

Be it a non-alcoholic cocktail or a generous glass of white, donating £3 to our trial will earn you a drink at our next event (who knows when this will be but we never forget and a good time is guaranteed).

£5 or more

Page of fame

As a thank you for taking the time to donate and for being so generous we will include your name in the Turn page of fame. You'll be published in the official results report, proving that you helped to shape history.

£10 or more

Simple sustainable tips download

(suited to menstruators) How to make your period care more sustainable

£10 or more

The ABC of periods download

(suited to curious non-menstruatiors) Learn about all the thing the school nurse didn't tell you in school, a simple how what and why guide

£12 or more

The story of the blob people download

(great for everyone) Be one of the few to know the secrets of how Turns blob characters made it down to earth

£15 or more

Period anecdotes download

A Turn illustrated fact sheet with 15 of our favourite period anecdotes

£25 or more

7 of 24 claimed

A big box of DAME organic tampons

BLEED RED. THINK GREEN. 34 hypoallergenic organic cotton tampons. Kindly sponsored by DAME, one of many collaborations over the next year... (eeeek!)

£45 or more

1 of 30 claimed

Personalized Blob person

(perfect for the gram) We will make your very own digital blob character based on you or someone you love.

£50 or more

1 of 30 claimed

Personalized pouch

A personalized pouch made from re-worked fabric! Perfect for menstrual care products, pens, stamps, screwdrivers or whatever you fancy really! kindly sponsored by Scarlett and Pearl studios.

£60 or more

0 of 3 claimed

A DAME reusable tampon applicator

BLEED RED. THINK GREEN. Enjoy a comfortable period, without the plastic waste with this carbon-neutral reusable applicator. Kindly sponsored by DAME, one of many collaborations over the next year... (eeeek!)

£100 or more

Turn artwork A3 print

A Turn is designed to look good, good enough to display on your wall, whoever you are!!! Choose between three A3 prints and we'll post it to you on recycled paper with a handwritten thank you note.

£200 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Personalized Blob person GIF

(perfect if you are a business, organisation, or influencer) A personalised blob character GIF for all your socials and websites!! Show the world you are a Turn supporter and share your inner blob person.

£400 or more

1 of 2 claimed

A one to one lab tour

As a personal thank you for your very generous donation the Turn team will take you and a guest to the Laboratory at Cranfield University to look around and see the cutting edge research first hand.

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