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New Products

Sustainable Food Carton Replaces Cereal Boxes

While the Microsoft Xbox is familiar to video game enthusiasts worldwide, inventor Luis Burgos of Spain wants XBRIK packaging for dry cereals and other food products to become similarly renowned in packaging circles. After spending the past 10 years developing the concept, Burgos is taking the next step forward in this outreach to the US.

Burgos claims the patented, bag-less Xbrik packaging “could eliminate 60 to 70% of all plastic bags worldwide” that are used for numerous cereal, snack, and other free-flowing products.

The Xbrik is essentially a highly functional box that offers the following features:

  • It’s applicable for solid food, animal, or chemical products.
  • It is laminated, compostable, and offers barrier protection.
  • It is 40% cheaper to manufacture than a traditional cereal box.
  • It can maintain a nitrogen barrier between three and three-and-a-half months.
  • It is 25% more compact than a traditional cereal box and offers a 12.5% reduction in material savings.

In detail, the Xbrik is composed of three principle layers, two of which are ultra-thin polypropylene sheets that in the future will be replaced by a sustainable, plant-derived polymer, Burgos tells Packaging Digest.

Those sheets are laminated  as the protective barrier layers surrounding an inner layer of a "cardboard"-like material derived from organic material. This inner layer will be made from sugarcane, will be 100% compostable ,and  will fertilize new plant growth to support new packaging sources.

In other words, it's a sustainable model of packaging aligned with a circular economy.

Luis BurgosXBrik Red Green background pouring 720pix

“It is the second-best container in the world,” asserts Burgos, acknowledging the Tetra Brick invented decades ago by Ruben Rausing remains the gold standard. He responds to Packaging Digest’s additional questions in this exclusive interview.

What sparked the idea?

Burgos: A great desire in me to contribute in a remarkable way to improve the environment in all the countries of the world, helping the new generations of children and young people. This is how my Xbrik container was born, the first container that can eliminate plastic bags that are so harmful, especially in the world's oceans.

For what products / markets is it appropriate?

Burgos: For all solid food products such as cereals, pasta, rice, legumes, nuts, and more.

For pet food including cats, dogs, birds, and other animals.

It is also appropriate for consumer chemicals such as powdered soaps, dishwasher soap, cat litter, plant fertilizer, and more.

Is there a priority for these markets?

Burgos: First breakfast cereals, second pet food, third dried fruit, and fourth powdered soaps.

What makes it better than other options?

Burgos: The Xbrik works perfectly with 99% of all solid products, it is the most practical container to use, the easiest to recycle, the most attractive, and is the cheapest in the entire industry. The biggest difference is that the Xbrik is the only packaging option to truly revolutionize the manufacturing of food packaging.

What do you mean by cheapest?

Burgos: The Xbrik is 40% cheaper compared to the price of a current standard cereal box with an inner bag.

What sizes and options are available?

Burgos: The Xbrik container sizes range from 250 grams to 5 kilos [or about 9 ounces to 11 pounds].

The system includes a corresponding lid aka spout, which I call TOPCRIC and TOPBRIK. There are six different sizes for each model.

The spouts are made of polypropylene. Plastic is used because it has mechanical characteristics that are impossible to match with materials such as cardboard or aluminum.

The spout is sealed with any easy-to-peel-off organic film made of biodegradable potato starch or similar material. The seal provides the box a nitrogen barrier for up to three months.

Luis BurgosLuis Burgos Xbrik inventor portrait

What have been the main challenges?

Burgos: I have two big challenges: The first was to create the first perfected mold for the Topbrik lids, which required four iterations and years of great effort.

The second challenge was obtaining financing to reach this point.

What’s the patent status?

Burgos: There are three patent families extended to a total of 60 patents worldwide in the US, Mexico, Australia, and Europe.

What have you learned about packaging?

Burgos: Many things; I have participated in 25 trade events around the world, for innovation, packaging and plastic technology. From the interesting people I met I received useful information. I felt that I could do something that the others have not done.

What contacts have you made?

Burgos: I have made more than 1,500 connections on LinkedIn, the vast majority of whom are Americans and more than 70% related to packaging.

What’s the next step?

Burgos: I cannot move forward in Spain, so I want to move to the US to create my own cereal factory and then grant licenses to other companies. The Xbrik project is ready to be commercialized and I am looking for several options including a strategic partner in the US and a global distribution company.

With the right offer, I would also consider selling all of my Xbrik, Topcric, and Topbrik system patents. My goal is to help create the best cereal factory in the world.

Contact information for inventor Luis Burgos is Tel. +34 681692518, email or visit the website

Ecommerce/Supply Chain

Flexible Packaging Delivers in the Ecommerce Era

FPA Mt Olive Munchies Resealable Pouch Ftr image

As states across the US issued stay-at-home orders in response to the pandemic, many consumers resorted to placing online orders for essential purchases like groceries. You are likely familiar with the everyday sight of delivery trucks descending upon your neighborhood to provide timely deliveries right outside your door. This is not unique to your area: So many consumers switched their purchase habits to digital alternatives that eMarketer is now predicting ecommerce in the US will grow by 18% in 2020.

This monumental shift in consumer habits changes everything for brand owners who are used to tailoring their product designs and packaging decisions for retail environments. Instead of gradually adjusting strategies, they are faced with a sudden and widespread demand for ecommerce alternatives. There are several factors that brand owners must consider when packaging products for ecommerce instead of retail.


Inherent product protection.

For starters, ecommerce increases the number of touch points between the initial order and the end destination. Compared to traditional retail, in fact, an ecommerce product is handled at least three times more often. Flexible packaging is an ideal option for ecommerce because it offers added protection and durability that can resist breakage, prevent spills, and keep multiple products together.


The Mt. Olive Pickle Co. Mt. Love, NC, launched the first snack pickles in shelf-stable stand-up pouches. Manufactured by Glenroy, Menomonee Falls, WI, the custom pouch structure preserves flavor and keeps pickles fresh after opening due to the press-to-close zipper reclosure. The lightweight, durable pouch allows for increased portability and is ideal for ecommerce markets.


“Less is more” reduces environmental impact.

For some product categories, flexible packaging can protect products during shipping without an overbox — a corrugated box that holds another similar corrugated box within to withstand the rigors of ecommerce handling. This is important for brand owners since additional packaging often results in a larger environmental footprint. For example, in a streamlined life cycle comparison between shoes delivered with a flexible mailer or with an overbox, the outer box format resulted in a higher environmental impact for fossil fuel consumption (+14.2%) and greenhouse gas emissions (+65.6%).

Another consideration is how consumers use the product after they receive it; clothing and shoes, often have return rates of up to 50%.

Flexible packaging can have recloseable features that enable easy returns without requiring consumers to use new packaging, thus, minimizing the environmental impact.


Shipping savings using flexible formats.

Unlike retail applications, ecommerce scales down shipping into individual units (not bulk units), the cost of which must factor into the consumer’s decision-making process. To drive sales and reduce the impact of shipping costs, brand owners need to understand how product and package design can affect shipping rates. One of the advantages of using flexible formats is that they typically result in reduced dimensional weight. Since billable weight is determined by whichever value is greater — actual or dimensional weight — shipping costs can be lower for a package that is space-efficient.

Consider this case study example for shipping a pair of shoes.


As you can see, the flexible format results in about $4 shipping savings per unit, which can be attributed to minimal air space surrounding the product. Looking beyond the benefits of shipping individual units using flexible packaging, these materials can also optimize shipping space on trucks.


Confronting the new reality.

As we have seen this year, ecommerce continues to rise. In fact, it’s not a trend — it’s the new reality. Brand owners that adjust their strategies and consider the benefits of flexible packaging in ecommerce applications will set themselves up for future success.


About the AuthorFPA-Alison-Keane-175x209px.jpg

Alison Keane, Esq., IOM, CAE, has served as President and CEO of the Flexible Packaging Association since October 2016, and provides strategic leadership and advocacy to advance and grow the flexible packaging industry. Keane previously served as the Vice President for Government Affairs and Industry Programs with the American Coatings Association. An environmental attorney, with 25 years of experience in the association and government sectors, Keane has also served at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland State Senate.


Nestlé Pours $30 Million into Closed Loop Leadership Fund

Image: iQoncept/Adobe Stock Circular economy concept

Nestlé has made a $30-million investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, the private equity arm of circular-economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners to lead the shift from virgin plastics to the use of food-grade recycled plastics in the United States. This investment is the first to utilize Nestlé’s packaging venture fund established earlier this year, part of the company’s overall 2 billon Swiss franc ($2.1 billion) commitment to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

“This investment is one of many solutions we are exploring to address the global plastic waste challenge,” said Véronique Cremades-Mathis, Global Head of Sustainable Packaging. “It will help create a more sustainable recycling system and, at the same time, assist us in achieving our commitment to reduce our use of virgin plastics by one-third by 2025. This is particularly important as increasing the use of recycled plastics could substantially reduce the environmental impact of our packaging,” said Cremades-Mathis.

The Closed Loop Leadership Fund was created to acquire companies and build circular supply chains. It invests in companies that aim to increase recycling rates in the United States and keep valuable materials within the packaging supply chain by integrating and improving access, collection, sortation, and processing, Nestlé explained.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US recycling rate for all materials, including plastics, is around 25%. Recycling rates, however, can vary significantly by material type. This is due in part to the different ability of municipal recycling systems to accept and process materials.

Steve Presley, Chairman & CEO of Nestlé USA, commented: “It is important that we do our part to help keep recyclable materials out of landfills and increase US recycling rates, and this investment is a significant move in that direction. It is also a critical step in our effort to secure access to high-quality, food-grade recycled plastics, which can be converted into new packaging material for use across our product portfolio.”

Closing the loop on valuable materials

Through its investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, Nestlé will have access to recycled plastics feedstock processed by companies in which the fund invests in order to achieve greater volumes of food-grade recycled plastics for its packaging. Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners, stated, “In addition to the investment, Nestlé has committed to create an end-market for the food-grade recycled plastics processed through the companies we acquire. This will enable us to fully close the loop on valuable materials.”

Nestlé claims the investment has the potential to impact a variety of brands in its US portfolio. Nestlé uses PET in bottles for Coffeemate and Starbucks creamers; in trays for Stouffer’s entrees; and across its bottled-water portfolio. Since 2019, the company has doubled the amount of rPET used across its still water portfolio in the United States to 16.5%. The company uses PE in rigid canisters of Nesquik powder, and PP in Lean Cuisine trays and the new Gerber Incredipouch, a first-of-its-kind, single-material baby-food pouch designed to increase recycling value. Flexible films appear in a variety of packaging formats, including bags of Nestlé Toll House morsels and the wraps on refrigerated cookie dough.

This announcement builds on Nestlé Waters North America’s $6 million investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, which finances recycling programs and infrastructure improvements to create a circular economy in the United States.


Food Packaging Turns Green with rPET Sustainability

PinnPack Mejool green plastic 12oz tub

Because it echoes the hue of the natural world including grass, forest, jungles, and plant life in general, green is a color long associated with sustainability.

Datepac, a Yuma, AZ, packer of Medjool dates, makes that connection a reality through new green-colored packaging. The repackaging supports the company’s drive toward greater sustainability as it switches from clear virgin plastic PET to 100% post-consumer green PET beverage bottles.

Branded as PinnPACK Green, the recycled PET containers are supplied in 12oz and 2-pound sizes by PinnPACK, an Oxnard, CA, subsidiary of CarbonLITE Holdings, the world’s largest recycler of PET beverage containers. The thermoformed tubs and lids are sourced from green PET bottles for Sprite, 7-UP, and other beverage brands.

The move to literally greener packaging comes at a time when many brands opt for transparent plastic packaging.

“Green-colored recycled plastics have been hard to find a home for because they are unconventional,” says David Baxter, Natural Delights’ brand manager. “People are used to seeing clear plastic packaging. We’re excited to take this step because it’s best for the environment and we believe for our customers. It means less plastic in the landfill and less use of virgin plastic.”

Datepac packs and ships dates for two tray sizes of Natural Delights Brand, the #1 brand of Medjool dates in the United States. The containers are embossed with “100% made from your recycled bottles” while a printed label applied by Datepac tells the story of the packaging's recycled content.



Naturally green color.

The green colored rPET is molded from the source materials without any dyes, and remains the same hue as the incoming bottles, according to Ira Maroofian, president of CarbonLITE and PinnPack Packaging.

The development of rPET sourced from green bottles has been in development for the past four years, Maroofian tells Packaging Digest.

“We believe once our customers as well as consumers start seeing more and more green recycled packaging it will become commonplace,” he says. “The color green is already associated with sustainability and many products come in green packaging, particularly organic offerings. We are proud to be leading the way with Datepac. Ultimately, higher demand for higher recycled content will translate into better and more recycling, which will mean less plastic pollution.”

The green rPET container can be recycled, but with a caveat.


“That’s dependent on the capabilities of the recycling plant in any given area,” Maroofian. “However, currently there are very few facilities that process thermoformed packaging.”

PinnPack, which envisions increased acceptance of produce packaging in green-colored rPET, also uses the recycled matrials to manufacture salad bowls for Health Nut, a Los Angeles-area restaurant chain. Health Nut has taken the same innovative step as Datepac and received positive customer feedback.

There may be additional green rPET examples. “We are aware of a few other green colored packages being used in the market today,” says Maroofian. “For example, there is a clamshell used in Whole Foods Stores that is a darker green and there are also some egg cartons that are made of green PET, but we do not know where they source the material.”

The dates are carried by Whole Foods, Costco, Kroger and other outlets.

Pack label image: Cyrus Maroofian, PinnPACK

Food Packaging Expert Discloses Exciting Developments and Issues

Claire Sand PTR Feature Graphic

I confess that I don’t spend a great deal of time or effort in LinkedIn — there are only so many hours in a day. However, when occasionally visiting the online business platform, I find excellent content and make new connections with industry professionals, which is how I came across Claire Sand, PhD.

Shortly thereafter we had a stimulating chat, during which I learned that she has more than 30 years’ experience in industry and academia, and is owner of Packaging Technology and Research and Gazelle Mobile Packaging. She is also Adjunct Professor, CalPoly, Michigan State University, and the University of Minnesota. She's passionate about reducing food waste and the role of packaging to help mitigate waste.

I also discovered she was the recipient of the 2020 Institute of Food Technologists’ Riester-Davis-Brody Award that recognizes lifetime achievement for top innovators in food packaging technology. 

I’m thrilled to have Sand join Packaging Digest as a regular contributor and, by way of introduction, she agreed to participate in a quick introductory interview for the benefit of readers.

Claire SandClaire Sand Pullquote graphic

What sparked your interest in food science and packaging?

Sand: Mentors and course electives on societies and agriculture opened my eyes to an amazing world that needed packaging to mitigate food waste.


You have considerable teaching experience at the college and university level. What do you find most gratifying about educating packaging students?

Sand: I love to see students learn course material in the context of the abundance of perspectives that other students have in the class. 


What’s a lesson you’ve learned in food packaging?

Sand: That there is always more to be learned!  Another lesson is that technology is just as important as the approach. Innovation in both is needed to effectively solve little challenges such as reducing costs and increasing shelf life as well as to address the big opportunity of achieving a more sustainable food system.

Claire SandPTR Feature Graphic

What’s a recent development you’ve come across that excites you?

Sand: There are so many!  One development is the creation of refined regional and small-scale packaging clusters for entrepreneurs to rapidly, safely, and sustainably scale-up.  Large-scale value chains are becoming more agile by borrowing from this development.


What do you see as the most pressing issue in food packaging in 2020?

Sand: The most pressing issue is intelligent packaging. We need to bring intelligent packaging to fruition to ensure food is safe for consumers. The challenge of linking benefits and costs has slowed progress.  Another pressing issue is the need for more basic and adaptive packaging research.

Sand discusses her company and projects in this YouTube video.

Healthcare Packaging

Easy-Open Pack Addresses Single-Use Needs of Medical Products

Sealed medical packages maintain their integrity until opened, protecting devices such as pre-filled syringes.

When Packaging Digest first reported on Snapsil single-use packages in 2014, target markets included food, personal care, healthcare, and household products. And its first commercial product was for tomato sauce. But Snapsil packs are particularly suitable for medical products because of their hygienic design, which is made even more useful because of the easy, one-hand opening feature.

Neil Cashman, Snapsil CEO, talks about global trends that support the package’s benefits for healthcare applications (also see slideshow for examples of packages holding different types of products).


When did you decide to focus on the medical market?

Cashman: We introduced Snapsil medical applications to customers in 2019. This was in response to what we see as a growing need for “easier to use” packaging to assist with patient treatment adherence and an aging population. Here’s how the package addresses both these needs:

1. The packaging contributes to patient non adherence. The correct and timely use of medication determines its therapeutic effect. Yet physical constraints — such as poor handgrip strength, loss of fine motor skills, and impaired vision — negatively impact the taking of medicines. In developed countries up to 50% of patients fail to adhere to treatment, resulting in an estimated $600 billion in lost sales annually.

Studies have shown that many people, especially elderly, experience difficulties when attempting to use medication packaging formats contributing to non-adherence. Medication packaging needs to become more focused on the patient and facilitate human interaction for a future that will see an aging population and increasing self-care. 

2. Aging population is a global mega trend. In 2014, nearly one billion people were registered as late lifers — senior adults aged more than 60 years. By 2030, it is expected that this number will reach 1.5 billion people, representing 18% of the total population, and by 2050, the number will reach 2.1 billion. Older people are high users of medications. In meeting the medical needs of an aging population, there are challenges to overcome not only for drug development but also how these drugs are provided through packaging to senior patients. Poor packaging causes inconvenience, non-adherence, and, in some cases, injury.

In contrast, patient-friendly packaging can improve dosing, treatment adherence, patient safety, and mobility.

Numerous studies have identified the challenges elderly patients encounter when using existing pharmaceutical packaging formats and, as this mega trend (aging) continues, the need for patient-friendly packaging will become greater.  


What percentage of your business does medical represent and why?

Cashman: We anticipate medical will become the largest area of the Snapsil business over the next few years as medical customer projects progress further.

We are excited by medical customers’ interest in Snapsil technology across the breadth of medical product applications — powders, liquids, solid dose tablets, and medical devices. We believe the underlying need for “easier to use” packaging is heightened in medical to assist patient treatment adherence especially amongst the elderly who experience reduced dexterity or patients who may be suffering ailments that may hinder their ability to open packaging.


Are the Snapsil products for medical applications made any differently? If so, how and why?

Cashman: Snapsil’s technology is applicable to packaging utilizing thermoplastic production processes used in both the medical and consumer goods industries. Snapsil cooperates globally with Multivac, who can assist customers with machine solutions where required.


Who are your U.S. material and production partners for medical?

Cashman: In the US, we currently cooperate with Amcor, who can assist customers with material solutions.

Due to the regulations in medical, Snapsil has not sought to limit customers production options by appointing a nominated chief medical officer (CMO). We find medical customers consider in-house production or may prefer to use their existing and qualified CMO.    


What materials are typically used for medical packages and why those?

Cashman: Snapsil technology has both commercialized and trialed positively in a range of thermoformable polymer-based materials.  We choose those materials to provide a range of advantages including ease in manufacturing and supply chain, speed to market through using commercially available options, and the ability to incorporate required material properties like barrier, light transmission, processability, and more. 

For medical and pharmaceutical packages, Snapsil is also currently developing design options through the use of materials available from specific sites currently supplying the pharmaceutical markets.


Ecommerce/Supply Chain

3 Ways COVID-19 is Changing Supply Chain Packaging

In the supply chain world, the packaging is one of the few spots that doesn’t seem to be overwhelmingly impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus, though there is still some cause for caution. Overall, the packaging market is projected to reach $1.01 trillion by 2021, partially because of a surge in ecommerce sales.

Drilling down to smaller segments and subsets shows a more uneven outlook as some manufacturers may face growing challenges. For instance, companies that provide packaging for entertainment venues like concert halls and movie theaters are seeing a significant decrease in orders.

Companies have primarily been able to address the initial COVID-19 impacts. They are managing their return to more consistent levels, but leadership in the space will require a focus on shaping what comes next, instead of reacting to it.

Medical Packaging

Can Personalization Improve Medical Device Packaging?

In this three-and-a-half-minute video, Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., user advocate and co-founder/principal of the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) — who has been called “the king of usability” by Internet Magazine — answers a question from the audience at the 2019 Las Vegas UX conference about how designers can improve the user experience of medical devices and, perhaps, make healthcare more enjoyable or less bad than it is now for the patient.

Personalization is one of his suggestions, especially for medical products that people might pick out themselves, such as injectors to treat diabetes.

Ecommerce/Supply Chain

Packaging is Changing — So are the Security Threats

Photo credit: Андрей Яланский – Supply-Chain-Security-AdobeStock_249598492-featured.jpeg

The biggest trend within packaging is undoubtedly sustainability, as the pressure grows on brand owners and packaging firms to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Governments and regulators are enforcing stricter standards for packaging and, generally, we’re still seeing increasing hostility towards plastic waste.

To meet this new demand, companies are turning to digital solutions, including the internet of things (IoT) and data analytics, which firms can use to make better decisions about packaging and energy consumption, and make more of their operations paperless. Although there are huge benefits to this, an increasing reliance on digital technology and an eagerness to be seen to embrace the latest tech also creates new security threats.

This kind of digitalization is being exploited by increasingly sophisticated hackers, and as security systems get smarter to meet their threat, so to do the counterfeiters and thieves. The packaging market is adopting new technologies and strategies for keeping products safe. And new regulations mean the food and pharmaceutical markets are driving the demand for tamper-proofing and better item tracking.


Track and trace.

As a result, track-and-trace technology is becoming commonplace, and indeed mandated, as a critical part of the supply chain. COVID–19 has even led to its adoption to monitor the spread of the disease among communities in countries like South Korea.

Companies are adopting methods such as radio frequency identification (RFID), quick-response (QR) codes, and IoT to monitor their inventories in seconds, detecting any anomalies, and seamlessly keeping track of any misplaced or stolen goods. Some are pushing the envelope by embedding the packaging itself with smart technology to deliver real-time information.

For firms like major fashion labels that face the enormous challenge of counterfeiting, smart technology is also a useful method for authenticating their products using embedded microchips.


NFC and BLW.

Near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLW) are innovative methods for tracking and tracing items. These technologies are so simple, they can be used by consumers on their mobile phones, allowing them to quickly access information about their packages and keep track of them while they’re out for delivery, as well as letting companies seamlessly integrate promotional campaigns and the like.

NFC is also a useful security tool. Each NFC chip has a unique serial number assigned by the manufacturer, so customers can be assured they’re seeing information about the correct product and making it easier for the company to track a specific item should it be stolen.


RFID tags.

RFID tags are also playing a major role. This innovative technology, based around a printed antenna with a microscopic chip that transmits a radio frequency signal, can be used to track and trace products while they’re on the move, monitor inventories, and improve security.

RFID tags can be used to send alerts to a customer’s mobile phone to let them know when their delivery is due but can also track a package’s location in a warehouse and when it has been loaded onto a delivery truck. They turn delivery into a seamless process from start to finish, reducing the risk of theft along the way.

In addition, RFID tags can be used to detect tampering. Once an RFID tag has been tampered with, the signal cuts out completely. And while this makes it difficult to locate a stolen or damaged package, it does immediately alert the company that an item has been tampered with.

The benefits to firms and consumers of RFID tags are huge, and investment is set to boom in the coming years. According to IDTechEx, by the year 2022 the total RFID market will be worth around $13 billion.


What’s next?

To eliminate security threats entirely, packaging must become smarter and tied to more intelligent systems. Using data analytics, firms can examine their entire supply chain and find inefficiencies and potential dangers that need ironing out, from raw materials to delivery.

These new systems are set to be adopted by the food and drinks, industrial and pharmaceuticals sectors, and many more are sure to follow as the benefits become clear. And as the world becomes ever more globalized, cross-border and cross-platform solutions will become necessary.


Olaf Jensen is the copywriter for IFSEC Global. A graduate of the University of York, he has been writing about security issues for almost two years. [Editor’s note: IFSEC Global is owned by Informa, the parent company of Packaging Digest.]


Sustainable and Social Packaging Shines at Summer’s End

This summer has been atypical for a variety of reasons, mainly the pandemic, social unrest, and a confused return to school. Maybe that’s why you gravitated to some of the more lightly entertaining articles we posted in August.

Summer beach reads they’re not … but our best-read articles of August 2020 do reflect a break from some of the more serious issues in the world.

As usual with our review of the top articles of the previous month, we start with #5 and work our way up to the #1 article of the month. Oooo … the excitement is palpable.