Yes, paper is biodegradable and made with wood, a renewable resource.
Plastic is nasty and does not decompose and is made from gas and oil.
So a styrofoam cup is evil and a paper cup is good. Right?
Chemist Martin Hocking of the University of Victory, BC says you must
consider a few other factors. First, it takes six times as much wood
pulp (although, not necessarily from rain forests) to produce a paper
cup as polystyrene to produce a plastic cup.
And manufacturing the paper cup consumes:
12 times as much steam.
Additionally the paper cup contains waterproofing resins (to allow it
to hold some of that precious rainwater), making it impossible to recycle.
The plastic version can be turned into lawn furniture and flower pots,
and doesn't burn your fingers when filled with hot coffee.
36 times as much electricity.
2 times as much cooling water.
580 times as much waste water.
Sure, there are other considerations. But be advised, there
are also other considerations to your other considerations!