Life cycle analysis of aircraft plastic components to determine reuse and recycling options

Grantham Scholar Su Natasha Mohamad’s project looks at the fate of plastic parts of aircraft throughout their lifetime in order to encourage reuse.

On being a Grantham Scholar

“It’s amazing to bond with other Grantham Scholars who come from different backgrounds yet share a keen interest in environmental care. All in all, being a Grantham Scholar has been a continuum of fun.”

Project description

This project focuses on investigating the environmental burden of interior counterparts of an aircraft that are made from plastics from cradle-to-grave. In this study, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to gauge the environmental burdens of plastic composites that were used to fabricate the interior compartments of an aircraft. This study demonstrates the scarcity of natural resources, adverse impact on human health and loss of profit when plastics are not being properly managed. The output of this assessment would hopefully encourage aircraft recycler companies to decide on a recycling pathway for these plastic components, therefore encouraging a circular economy approach. This hopefully would also motivate material and manufacturing engineers to design a more sustainable exit for plastics aircraft by the end of its life.


Planes, plastic and LCA: Su Natasha Mohamad interview. Grantham Scholar Su Natasha Mohamad works on planes, plastic and LCA. LCA – Life Cycle Analysis – is one the best ways to produce evidence about sustainability claims.

The Grantham Centre at COP. Every year, we send Grantham Scholars to COP as official observers for the University of Sheffield. Doing so gives our people an opportunity to see how global climate change policy is made – or not – and to meet other sustainability experts. In 2022, Natasha was one of the group who went to Egypt for COP27.

Fulbright and Gilman Scholars visit the Grantham Centre. In the summer of 2022 we were delighted to work with Global Engagement to host 25 Gilman Scholars and 58 Fulbright Scholars for a climate change themed conference. Several Grantham Scholars helped host the visitors, including Su Natasha Mohamad.

Social media

You can find Su Natasha Mohamad on LinkedIn.

And you can find her on Twitter.


Rachael Rothman

Professor Rachael Rothman

Grantham Centre Co-Director


A close up on Tony Ryan at work in his lab

Professor Tony Ryan OBE

Grantham Centre Co-Director