In the UK and Spain we have a whole different set up which obviates many of the advantages of the TB Shop Bag. Firstly, in English, it's a shopping bag. When I was a small child, around 40 years ago, shops didn't give out bags at all. So when I was sent for the messages (Scottish for going to the shops), I would be handed a line (shopping list) and either a string bag or my mum's basket. I hated the latter as, one, it made me look like a girl, and two, its rim bashed my legs!
Only when I was around ten did they introduce plastic bags. These were heavy plastic and not biodegradable, but they went down a storm. However, their very success was their undoing. Suddenly the country was littered with literally millions of them and those that did get disposed of 'properly' went in to landfill sites to sit for eternity without ever degrading.
The first attempt at broaching the issue was the biodegradable plastic sack. This improved the landfill situation but still left the litter issue as they don't exactly degrade overnight. So the latest solution is the 'bag for life'. These are heavyweight, reusable bags with cloth handles, about the same size as the large shop bag. Some are heavy plastic or cotton cloth, but the best are really nice hessian. They are sold at the checkout for 50pence/50cents and you reuse them for two or three years till they wear out. When they do you exchange them for a new one at the checkout for free - hence 'bag for life'. They are much easier to carry and, though they might lack a little in style and quality over the TB version, they are an eightieth of the price, fold flat and, if you do forget or lose them, they can be replaced at the checkout just at that point when you discover your omission! The major downside is that, no matter how subtle they may be, you have to walk around with the supermarket's logo on your bag... however I take great delight in shopping in Eroski with Carrefore bags or in Tesco's with Sainsbury's ones. As a result, our one and only TB Shop Bag has barely been used and sits on the corner of the kitchen work surface looking sad
Oh and we only have bag packers if it's Scout Job Week or a local school is raising money for a jolly somewhere... then we pay them NOT to pack the bags as they always do it 'wrong'!