Eleven year old Molly Steer brought her Straw No More campaign to Gladstone's Ecofest, all the way from Cairns.
Eleven year old Molly Steer brought her Straw No More campaign to Gladstone's Ecofest, all the way from Cairns. Matt Taylor GLA020619ECOF

PHOTOS: Next generation takes the lead at this years Ecofest

IT WAS a case of children teaching adults at this year's Ecofest as thousands turned out for the annual environmental awareness event at Tondoon Botanic Gardens.

Keynote speaker Molly Steer brought her Straw No More campaign to the huge crowd to help spread the message about how plastics are damaging the natural world.

The 11-year old from Cairns encouraged residents to join her army of strawbassadors, people who could take the message of alternatives to single-use plastics into their own communities.

"I started it two years ago after going to a movie called A Plastic Ocean, and I saw all this bad stuff that was happening to the ocean I loved for so long, and I knew I had to do something,” she said. "I'm trying to teach them how they can use an alternative to plastic straws.”

The family event was a hit on Saturday, with the huge number of children walking through the gates.

Acting mayor Chris Trevor said awareness for looking after the environment had become a world movement.

Ruby, 6 has her face painted at Ecofest 2019 held at Tondoon Botanic Gardens.
Ruby, 6 has her face painted at Ecofest 2019 held at Tondoon Botanic Gardens. Matt Taylor GLA020619ECOF

"It's important because we only have one planet, and we need to take care of it, not only for the current generation but for futures to come,” he said.

"This is about bringing people together to educate and instruct them how we can do things much better.

"The young children of our world are very very motivated to make a difference, I think they're far more educated with the way in which we're treating our world than we were 40 years ago.”