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I've met a "drinks cans" compound noun on this webpage.

See how food and drinks cans get recycled

As I know, there is a specific rule for the plural compound nouns that are made of two nouns. In this case the second noun takes an -s form and the first one acts like an adjective, so it cannot have the plural form. "Drinks cans" is not a typo, it is also pronounced this way in the video, so how can it be correct?

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    It's not common that the first noun is plural, but it's not true that it cannot take a plural form. I drove my sports car. The two countries were engaged in an arms race. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 12 at 20:06
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    Welcome to EL&U. I believe you will find the answer in Singular/plural Nouns as Adjectives, or in the similar question at our sister site for English Language Learners, Plural or singular noun adjunct? – choster Jun 12 at 20:13
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    The short answer is that it is not a "specific rule" so much as a common pattern. Sometimes a plural adjunct can be attributed to the plural being more familiar in independent use (e.g. veterans affairs, human rights attorney), yet we have pharmaceutical reps and playoff brackets, not to mention somehow event planner and events manager. Ultimately, it is convention which dictates when to use a singular or plural adjunct, and I'll add that in the U.S., drinks can would be quite unconventional and markedly "foreign"-sounding. – choster Jun 12 at 20:31
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    @JanusBahsJacquet I think most Leftpondians today would simply say aluminum can, in contrast to tin can (which is actually steel). Beverage can would be more natural than drink can. I'd prefer beer can or soda can (which are conventionally alumin[i]um) for parallelism with beer bottle or soda/pop bottle (conventionally glass), soup can or bean can (conventionally steel) and milk carton or egg carton (conventionally paper). – choster Jun 12 at 23:17
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    @Kate I’d call those soda cans, alumin(i)um cans, Coke cans, etc. I might not react if I heard them referred to as drinks cans (perhaps it only struck me as odd here because I actively thought about it), but I doubt I’d call them that myself. It’s specifically the plural form drinks that makes it odd to me, since that makes it sound like a ‘cocktail can’, and cocktails rarely come in cans; a ‘drink can’ would make more sense logically, but it does sound rather clumsy. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 13 at 8:58

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