Alejandro “Che” Morales is the founder of the LECO Project, self-described as “a plastic recycling system, reusing and creating products from recycled materials.”
The organization serves Alejandro’s hometown of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. The presence of the LECO Project has not only kept Santa Teresa’s beaches clean, but it has provided townspeople with affordable products that come entirely from the waste that Alejandro and his volunteers collect from the beach.
Additionally, Alejandro speaks to school children about the importance of sustainability, ingraining within the youth the drive to continue the organization’s mission even after he is gone.
Alejandro Morales on What the LECO Project Does for Santa Teresa’s Community
The initial plastic-shredding machine that Alejandro and his friend Thomas designed was incredibly small, made to only recycle their personal plastic wastes.
However, as the two became more skilled in turning their plastic wastes into products, they realized what a positive impact their machine could make in the community.
They constructed a larger shredding machine and set up roughly 100 compost bins around Santa Teresa.
Townspeople leave their plastic recyclables in these bins, and Alejandro and his volunteers collect them and turn them into products.
Gabriela Moreno had the following to say about Alejandro: “We have always worked hand in hand. Lifeguards collaborate with LECO on beach cleanups… Santa Teresa’s lifeguard towers were made from 100% recycled plastic, all collected from local beaches.”
Additionally, Alejandro educates the youth on the necessity of conservation, speaking at local schools and even leading classroom beach cleanups.
Alejandro Morales on the Problem That the LECO Project Is Addressing
According to Science Exchange, “Most plastic is not recyclable and the vast majority does not biodegrade. Further, plastic products often break down into very small fragments called microplastics that can pollute ecosystems and harm organisms.”
As Alejandro himself puts it, “Since the advent of plastic, 6,300,000,000 tons of it have been produced.”
Clearly, at this point, humankind’s reliance on plastics is too great to simply cease using them. This is why the innovation of Alejandro’s work is vital to the environmental protection movement.
Instead of making the unrealistic demand that we stop using plastics, he and his volunteers have created new ways to reuse what most would consider junk, giving new life to items that would otherwise be washed upon a shore somewhere.
While the LECO Project can’t be responsible for saving the world, Alejandro feels happy in knowing that he is making even a miniscule difference.
“Today, the world’s most renowned soda company manufactures 1,000,000 bottle caps per minute,” he said.
“And in the last three years, I’ve come close to processing only 900,000 bottle caps… I know that it is an unequal fight. The generation of plastic is constant. But I recycle because it feels good to me.”
Alejandro Morales on Heroism
Alejandro has devoted his life to helping others. He is adamant that heroism is rooted in the innate desire to change the world, even in an incremental way.
He rejects the notion that one should be heroic only in exchange for money or fame, as this would betray the very tenants that make one heroic in the first place.
Did You Miss Alejandro Morales’ Feature Video?
“I think we all have talents. If we lose the fear of developing them, we can make ourselves and others happier. I do nothing for money, I do it for the sake of doing it, for personal satisfaction,” he said.
To his audience, Alejandro leaves one message: Be conscious of how much you waste, and even the smallest effort to reduce it is noble.
Watch More Of Alejandro’s Videos About Turning Beach Trash Into Sustainable Treasure
Teaser Trailer – Watch the teaser trailer to find out how Alejandro “Che” Morales turns plastic bottle caps into sustainable building materials for his community in Costa Rica.
Feature Trailer – Watch the full trailer for plastic upcycler Alejandro “Che” Morales’ feature documentary.
Music Video – Listen to Tarante Groove Machine’s viral hit “Babylon,” set to scenes from Alejandro’s feature documentary.
Feature Documentary – Learn all about how Alejandro keeps Costa Rica’s beaches clean and converts discarded plastic into upcycled building materials in “Turning Beach Trash Into Treasure.”
We Have A Waste Problem – Alejandro explains how he keeps beaches clean and helps his community through his LECO Project.
On Free Thought – Alejandro describes how making the right decisions led to the creation of the the LECO Project.
What Is Your Dream – Find out how Alejandro wants to expand the LECO Project into an organization that cleans plastic from the open ocean.
Transforming Plastic – Alejandro doesn’t upcycle plastic into building materials for the recognition he gets, he’s doing it to make the world a better place.
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