Scientists want to help Australia tap into a $90 billion global "circular economy" by finding new ways to recycle and reuse plastics.
CSIRO is aiming to cut Australia's plastic waste by 80 per cent by 2030 and build up a plastic alternatives industry while ending the importation of plastics.
The new mission involves a $50 million cash splash and will see CSIRO scientists work with other academic institutions and the government.
Scientists also hope to harness nature to help tackle waste by researching how meal worms eat plastic and synthetic materials derived from seaweed.
"Our mission will be the national catalyst for systematic change to tackle plastic pollution," mission lead Dr Deborah Lau said.
"It will drive a significant coordinated response across the innovation sector and bring science and technology to the forefront to help deliver a myriad of solutions to end plastic waste."
Australians use one million tonnes of single use plastic each year and only 12 per cent of that is recycled.
Three-quarters of plastic waste along Australia's coastline is single use plastics.
Some of the things researchers have already helped develop includes a real-time monitoring system of stormwater drains allowing workers to detect when too much rubbish has built up in a waste trap.
CSIRO will also partner with Murdoch University researchers under a new innovation hub, which is already looking at developing compostable bottles, caps and wrappers.
"Some bioplastics are already in the market but most need UV light to breakdown," university researcher Professor Daniel Murphy said.
"Our compostable bioplastics will breakdown in compost, landfill or in water, without leaving a trace."
Global demand for plastics is expected to double by 2040 with the plastic waste industry already valued at about $117 billion.