Cans manufactured today have only a very thin layer of tin, but continue to be called "tin cans" for historical reasons. Steel cans have a layer of tin 15 millionths of an inch thick to prevent corrosion – thinner than the skin of a soap bubble.
Recycling cans saves between 60 to 74% of the energy used to produce them from raw materials.
However, mining tin has many social and environmental justice implications. Read this article on the "Big Five - Tough Social Issues in Mining".
Tin mining in Indonesia: "On the Indonesian island of Bangka, which provides 30 per cent of the world's tin - a vital component in the gadgetry few of us can do without - large-scale illegal mining is ravaging the environment and claiming lives ..." So begins this article.
There are alternatives to buying canned goods:
Grow your own fruit and vegetables or buy fresh from farmers market or the supermarket.
Buy dry vegetables such as beans and peas that don't come in cans.
Preserve your fresh vegetables for the winter months. Bonus: glass preserving jars can be reused each year.
Cans make excellent storage containers for pens/pencils, cutlery, utensils.
There are many craft ideas online for decorating cans.
Please recycle rather than send to landfill.