Polyolefins are macromolecular alkanes and include the most familiar and most commercially produced plastic, polyethylene. The low cost of these materials combined with their diverse and desirable property profiles drive such large-scale production. One property that renders polyolefins so attractive is their resistance to harsh chemical environments. However, this attribute becomes a severe limitation when attempting to chemically convert these plastics into value-added materials. Functionalization of polymers is a useful methodology for the generation of new materials with wide ranging applications, and this tutorial review describes both new and established methods for the post-polymerization modification of polyolefins.