There was a Swiss radio broadcast about this monstrosity a few months ago. It portrayed a group of environmentalists who have been trying to clean the the shores of Hawaii from bigger trash-pieces for a few years now. But obviously that's an almost impossible task, since tons of new trash are being washed ashore day by day.
The formation of the trash-island was predicted 1988 by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); it's existence was verified about ten years ago. Apart from that it's practically invisible unless you practically swim in it. Guess, that's a reason why the trash island hasn't become a big issue - yet.
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