This is the cup that is used for tea cofee as well, thoose place beside the Coffe Vending machine.
Answer: Coffee cups are made of two materials.
The first type is the paper cup that is lined with a wax to make the cup water resistant. The cup is polluting because it consumes paper (which is highly water and energy intensive) and releases carbon dioxide back into the environment as the paper starts to decay or is incinerated. The wax is also polluting because it is made of oil. However, only a small amount is used.
The second type, which is the one you are probably talking about, is made out of plastic - specifically PVC. This type of PVC is NOT recyclable. It is also pollutive because it is made out of oil, you would bury it rather than burn it.
Which is worse for the environment? Ironically, the paper one is worse because it uses more earth resources to make (but this is debatable). That is why I use my own ceramic cup to drink coffee and I resuse plastic bags (rather than keep asking for new paper bags). I also forgo those stupid cloth bags. You want to talk about a product that consumes a lot of earth resources - cotton. Plastic is very thin, very efficient, very strong which means that I am using something that is very bad, but I am using less of it.