Before we consider the differences, it is a good idea to look at what they have in common.
Firstly, we talk about them in the same way, using the acronym EAE to signify both electrical and electronic devices.
Another feature that electrical and electronic devices share is that they use electrical current or electromagnetic fields as a power source. So, both use the same type of energy, but while the former convert it into another form of energy, the latter use it to process information.
They both form an intrinsic part of our lives. Every day, we use a host of electrical appliances. All our homes are full of them, starting with the kitchen, where most of these appliances are found, such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, food mixers, microwaves, food processors and coffee makers. Other electrical appliances commonly found in the home are televisions, routers, speakers, irons and self-care equipment like hair dryers. Our homes also contain items that we take everywhere with us, such as smartphones, wireless headphones and tablets.
As for electronic devices, although there may be fewer of these, they are still as vital and useful to us. Could we live without computers?
The fact that they are so commonplace and so essential to our daily lives, means that their useful life is limited and we generate a huge amount of waste containing these objects. This makes them a key target for recycling their renewable materials. Some say they offer three times more recycling opportunities than any other solid waste, so to avoid their negative impact on human health and the environment, we must make sure they are appropriately collected, handled and processed. For example, did you know that aluminium, copper and different metals extracted from refrigerators can be recycled and used again in production processes?
These days, recycling these types of device is no longer optional. Since 2018, most must now be recycled by law. As well as those already targeted by legislation, such as temperature exchange devices, monitors, screens, lamps, computer equipment and photovoltaic panels, others are being added such as lamps, plugs, sensors, controllers, motors, transformers and office consumables.