Polyethylene (abbreviated PE) or polyethene (IUPAC name polyethene or poly(methylene)) is the most common plastic. The annual global production is around 80 million tonnes. Its primary use is in packaging (plastic bags, plastic films, geomembranes, containers including bottles, etc.). Many kinds of polyethylene are known, with most having the chemical formula (C2H4)n. PE is usually a mixture of similar polymers of ethylene with various values of n.
The properties of polyethylene can be divided into mechanical, chemical, electrical, optical and thermal properties.