Why are polymers cheap?

How are they manufactured? Where do the raw materials come from?

Answer:
Raw materials are coal, oil, and natural gas. These raw materials have increased in price lately, but they are far below $/lb for metals, wood, glass, which they replace. The hydrocarbon starting materials are converted to low-molecular weight compounds called monomers. The monomers are polymerized to plastic resins. The reins are fabricated into finished plastic or textile fiber goods.
Most polymers are made from the by-products of the petroleum industry- what they can't crack into gasoline, oils and gasses.

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