The main objective of this study is the preparation of poly (vinyl alcohol) PVA/starch based composite films reinforced with barley husk and grafted barley husk (prepared using lauric acid, palmitic acid and arachidic acid) for packaging applications and assessment of their biodegradability. The biodegradability test of the films was performed by measuring weight loss of the films after degradation in soil under natural environmental conditions and by measuring evolved carbon dioxide (CO2) during degradation under aqueous aerobic environment containing activated sludge. Physico-chemical variation in the films after degradation were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The composite films containing barley husk showed highest degradation in soil (70 % after 180 days) as well as in aqueous aerobic medium (58.83 % after 30 days). The results of scanning electron microscopy showed the formation of cracks and holes over the surface of the composite films after degradation. The degradation of the films occurred inside the composite films, not only on their surface. The incorporation of starch and barley husk in PVA matrix enhanced the degradation rate of films.