Franked mail

We use a franking machine for our outgoing mail.  As we do not have enough franked mail to justify the cost of having Royal Mail come to collect it every day, we sort it into the red (1st class) and green (2nd class) pouches provided by Royal Mail and post the pouches at the local Post Office or in a Business Post Box.

The postman who delivers our incoming mail now tells us that Royal Mail are withdrawing the pouches and that in future, we should just use rubber bands to bundle our sorted franked mail.

Anyone else heard this?  I know that you can track a postman by the trail of rubber bands he leaves along the road, but the pouches worked well.  Why change them when they weren't broke?