It is one of the most widely used commodity plastics. The chain repeat unit is:

Polyethylene is prepared by chain polymerization. Radical polymerization yields low density polyethylene, and coordination polymerization (with Ziegler catalyst) yields high density polyethylene.

Low cost, ease processing, toughness and flexibility in a wide temperature range are the main properties of polyethylene that enable a wide range of applications for coatings, packaging films, household goods, bottles and for stubble mulching or greenhouses in agricolture.