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Tesla Forced to Pay for Mishandling Hazardous Waste

Green Hypocrisy

Tesla has been ordered to pay a $1.5 million settlement after being sued over mishandling hazardous waste materials at its California facilities.

In the complaint, 25 California district attorneys argued that the EV maker had "intentionally disposed of, and intentionally caused the disposal of hazardous waste" in locations that were "not authorized."

The hazardous materials included depleted batteries, paint, and car lubricants.

Given Tesla's sheer size — the company raked in almost $8 billion in the fourth quarter of last year alone — the fine is nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Nonetheless, considering the company's ethos, which is to bring sustainable transport to the mass market, it's a glaring and hypocritical oversight that could very easily be avoided given the company's extensive resources.

Unsustainable

According to the lawsuit, the Elon Musk-led company cut plenty of corners. Tesla didn't label hazardous materials properly, and also failed to instruct employees on how to handle them correctly.

As a result, the company has been ordered to find effective ways to train its employees and "conduct annual waste audits of its trash containers at ten percent of its facilities."

Tesla has already been under scrutiny for other types of pollution. In 2022, the company settled with the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act, and was forced to pay a penalty of $275,000.

Sure, these fines may be a drop in the bucket — but they highlight the company's carelessness when it comes to sustainable manufacturing practices.

Meanwhile, Musk himself has been traveling across the world in a private jet, the most polluting form of transportation.

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