Aluminum is used in general for containers because it is cheap, easy to work with, recyclable, and strong.
Here’s a brief history of how the aluminum can entered into prominence: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/27694/history_of_the_aluminum_can.html?cat=15.
Beverage cans were once predominately made of tin-plated steel which required seams to close off. Once aluminum was used however, seams were no longer required. A thin sheet of aluminum would be folded into a can with a pop-off lid.
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