First they come for the plastic bags …

First they come for the plastic bags …

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Erika Strassburger has reintroduced her measure in Pittsburgh City Council to ban most single-use plastic bags (i.e., shopping bags).

But the Pandora’s box she has opened in the process should be the latest object lesson on the dangers of short-sighted government interventionism and the sheer folly of “progressive” non-think.

At its base, the legislation appears to be an activist-hyped “solution” to a problem that many, if not most people, would argue is not a problem locally. But this legislation — with its myriad possible exemptions, heavy-handed ancillary diktats and public subsidies – reeks of government run amok.

And with the risk of even more amokness.

As has been oft-told, the proposal seeks to ban most single-use plastic bags and implement a fee for the use of paper bags.

“Customers would need to bring their own reusable bags or pay a fee of at least 15 cents for a recyclable paper bag,” the Post-Gazette recounts. “Retailers would use the fee to recoup the higher costs of paper bags over plastic.”

There would be a number of exemptions — for produce bags, meat packaging, pharmacy bags and bags used to wrap flowers and other similar items. Garbage bags and pet waste bags would also be exempt, the P-G adds.

But the Law of Unintended Consequences already looms large in this nincompoopery.

With the new buzzword of the woke left – “equity” – looming large in the activism of the wokes’ every waking moment – Strassburger wrings her hands over her own legislation’s likely inequities.

To wit, she frets that the less fortunate and independent grocers very likely cannot afford the anti-one-use plastic bag edicts.

But have no fear! In the most perverted of public policy ironies, Strassburger has another “solution” – taxpayer- and/or philanthropic foundation-provided  “free” reusable or paper bags for the indie grocers and the poor.

We can’t make this stuff up. And there cannot be a better example of “progressive” liberals attempting to make everything right by making everything more expensive, then, in part, using taxpayer money to cover the cost of the lie of their interventionism.

Oh, and there’s no word yet on the cost of the proverbial “Bag Police” that would be required to enforce this buncombe.

And if you are naïve enough to think that Strassburger’s anti-plastic bag proposal is some kind of crazy one-and-done deal, ha! — think again.

As noted in a prior column, she has her sights set on banning just about anything that is used once and then disposed of.

Attacking toilet paper cannot be far behind. So to speak.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).