The target could be reached by working with businesses, creating a culture of resource efficiency through education and awareness campaigns and supporting businesses which reuse, recycle and re-manufacture goods.
The Safeguarding Scotland's Resources plan gives an initial target of a 7% reduction in waste by 2017.
Specific action includes providing practical support for businesses, reaching voluntary agreements with key sectors, creating a public pledge system for businesses, establishing a loan fund to support reprocessing and re-manufacturing and promoting sustainable product designs.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, speaking at a Scottish Resources Conference in Glasgow, said: "If everyone in the world used the same amount of resources as an average European we would need three planets to sustain us.
"The Scottish Government is committed to creating a more productive and circular economy and reduce our dependency on raw materials. We are embarking on the next steps towards being a zero-waste nation.
"Safeguarding Scotland's Resources is an important step but it's success will depend on how businesses and individuals respond to the challenges we face and the opportunities we want to create. In launching this new programme, we want to galvanise people behind our zero-waste vision and to work with us to make it a reality."
Mr Lochhead has also announced £168,000 of funding to a manufacturing firm that uses recycled materials, Panel2Panel.
The money will help turn plastic from fridges and yoghurt pots into construction fittings for schools and hospitals. Panel2Panel will be based in Dalbeattie in south-west Scotland and initially create 25 jobs.
Andrew Whitford, chief executive of Panel2Panel, said: "The grant funding from the Zero Waste Scotland programme allowed us to secure the additional private investment funding required in order to start fulfilling our manufacturing contracts."
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Our Resource Efficient Scotland programme is already helping thousands of Scottish firms use energy, water and raw materials more efficiently, so they can save money whilst also encouraging new and innovative technologies and business models to take hold.
"We welcome the focus on practical action to benefit the economy which is at the heart of the Safeguarding Scotland's Resources plan, and we are proud to support businesses like Panel2Panel who are making this vision a reality."