It's actually quite a nice piece of engineering. The walls of the can are very, very thin (as anyone who's cut themselves on one can attest to) but in the vertical direction the can supports a lot of weight (probably a human, if you step on it carefully). Of course, in the horizontal direction, it crumples quite easily, for efficient disposal.

Of course, environmentally it's not quite so nice, but at least they can be recycled. There have also been talks of self-refrigirating cans, which would cool themselves off when opened using the expansion of gas released when the can was opened. If I recall correctly, the idea was canned (pun intended) because of the reduction in the storage volume of the can.

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