Restaurantware's Ballin'

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) reached an agreement to resume its season in a “bubble” at the Walt Disney World Complex in Orlando, FL. The NBA bubble allows the league to quarantine itself from society to ensure the safety of players, coaches, fans, media members, and others in the NBA community.

With 22 teams entering the bubble, the NBA created strict guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The league requires everyone entering the bubble to quarantine for up to 48 hours and receive two negative COVID-19 tests before they can leave their hotel rooms. If individuals test positive while in the bubble, they are required to quarantine in a separate location for a minimum of seven days until they receive consecutive negative tests.

The NBA Bubble’s Meal Plan

Since players, coaches, and media members aren’t allowed to leave their room during quarantine, the NBA provides them with individually packaged meals.

Each organization is paired with a Disney culinary team that regularly meets with their organization’s nutritionists to create menus that support players’ needs. Once meals are prepared, hotel staff members drop off the meals at the front door of each guests’ room.

When individuals complete the mandatory quarantine, they’re allowed to roam the bubble to participate in practice, answer media questions, or use the amenities.

Every person is assigned a time and location in which they can pick up and enjoy meals. Mealtimes for each team and media member are spread out to prevent large gatherings and continue practicing social distancing.

NBA’s Commitment To Safety & The Environment

Rather than serving meals on reusable plates or drinks in foam cups, the NBA chose to have Restaurantware be their single-use food packaging supplier.

The NBA’s decision to package and pair meals with disposable products proves its commitment to safety. Using single-use tableware and containers is an effective way to reduce contact which in turn prevents the spread of COVID-19. The containers are only used once which helps prevent the virus from spreading on surfaces and reassures individuals that their meals aren’t contaminated.

Over the years, the NBA has shown its commitment to making the world greener. It’s partnered with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) to minimize the league’s carbon footprint and offset more than 10 million pounds of CO2. The NBA also hosts an annual Green Week during its season to help generate funds and educate fans about the importance of environmental protection.

By using Restaurantware as its food packaging supplier, the league is proving that its finding ways to keep individuals safe without harming the environment. The NBA is packaging meals using Restaurantware's Pulp Tek take out containers that are constructed from all-natural sugarcane fibers. Restaurantware’s line of sugarcane products is commercially compostable and biodegradable, providing the NBA with an eco-friendly way to package meals.

To serve soups, vegetables, and other side dishes, the NBA is using Restaurantware’s eco-friendly Bio Tek containers. These kraft containers are conveniently recyclable which provides the league a simple way to reduce its carbon footprint.

Using the right packaging has a major impact on players’ overall satisfaction with meals. For instance, using superior products can easily increase players’ perception of food quality and enhance the presentation of meals. This allows chefs to make each dish exciting while knowing meals will be delivered to players in the best possible condition.

Meals Options Expand Post-Quarantine

Once all individuals in the bubble have completed their quarantine and register consecutive negative tests, the NBA will expand its food offerings.

The league has partnered with six restaurants in the Walt Disney facility. Teams and media members will be able to enjoy meals at any of those restaurants. There will also be a number of food delivery options to choose from.

If players do not like the options available to them or have specific dietary needs, they can hire a personal chef. The chef must be located outside of the NBA bubble and the food will be delivered to players. Chefs will come at the players’ expense.

On game days, players will receive four meals a day. Chefs will continue to work with each NBA team’s nutritionists throughout the season to create pregame or postgame meals that support specific team needs.

A Slam Dunk For The NBA

The 2019-20 basketball season is set to resume on July 30 and the NBA has seemingly taken every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of individuals inside the bubble. The league is using Restaurantware as its single-use packaging supplier to prevent cross-contamination and increase sanitation practices while keeping the earth and food presentation in mind.

With over 50 percent of Restaurantware’s product selection being eco-friendly, the NBA is proving to everyone that they are fully committed to making the world a greener place. Even during difficult times, the league is continuing to find ways to reduce their impact on the planet.

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